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Poetry Guide: Closed Couplet

In poetics, Closed couplets are two line units of verse that do not extend their sense beyond the line's end. Furthermore, the lines are usually rhymed. the form was particularly common in Augustan literature and later Restoration literature, with John Dryden and Alexander Pope being the prime practitioners. When the lines are in iambic pentameter, they are referred to as Heroic Verse. However, Samuel Butler also used closed couplets in his iambic quatrameter Hudibrastic verse.

"True wit is nature to advantage dressed
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd"

is an example of the closed couplet in heroic verse from Alexander Pope's Essay on Criticism.