Anastrophe, the changing of usual subject-verb-object order for poetic reasons, is something that, anecdotally, strikes me as less frequent nowadays than in older writing from, say, the 19th century. I realise it's a kind of poetic licence that still exists today, but I feel like its frequency has decreased over time, even within the timespan of Modern English and leaving aside older authors such as Chaucer etc. But I don't know how to validate this gut feeling; it doesn't seem like something that a simple Ngrams search would verify or disprove, but probably there has been some academic writing about it.

How has the frequency of anastrophe in poetic writing changed over the last few centuries? Evidence-based answers only, please.

This question posted at the suggestion of Gareth Rees following a discussion in comments.


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