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  "Poems are of course almost always written in
straight lines across a page, each line turning at the
end into a new line.  This suggested the synonym
for "poem," verse, which comes from the Latin
, a form of the Latin vertere, "to turn."  
is recorded in English as far back as 1200
and today often means light pieces of poetry."

(Robert Hendrickson, The Henry Holt Encyclopedia
of Word and Phrase Origins
, New York, NY)      


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