Poetic contraction

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Poetic contractions are archaic and obsolete contractions of words not commonly used today in modern English, but are still found used extensively in early modern English poetry, particular that of William Shakespeare. The extent to which the usage of poetic contractions really helps with matching poetic meters is negligible, and modern readers prefer to substitute the contractions with the actual words they imply for clarity, rather than adhere to obsolete words for the purpose of archaic nostalgia.

In the modern English of today, poetic contractions tend to sound unsophisticated, poor, and uneducated to modern readers, since contracted words are most often used in modern English to indicate colloquy accidents of poor country folks (For example, the colloquial English in the writings of Mark Twain).

List of common poetic contractions[edit]

Archaic Modern
'tis it is
'twas it was
o'er over
gi' give
ne'er never
i' in
e'er ever
oft often
a' he
e'en even
ope open