Building upon the groundbreaking work of Milman Parry and Albert Lord, Out of Line presents a new theory of Homeric composition, focusing upon patterns that extend beyond the boundary of the line and the clause. Matthew Clark takes enjambment as a starting point, analyzing the techniques used by the poet to complete a line that begins with a runover. Clark proceeds to propose two levels of analysis, a "deep-structure" level, which describes the associations of words and ideas before they take metrical form, and a "surface-structure" level, which describes the words as they are employed on any particular occasion. Out of Line combines formulaic and metrical analysis, expanding the study of Homeric meter both in practice, by taking into account larger compositional structures such as entire scenes, and in theory, by using the results to test models of formulaic composition. This book is important for students and scholars of Homer, epic, and oral literature.