We investigate localized exciton states in pi-conjugated polymers with finite torsion. The localized states are associated with a perturbed transfer integral for which the magnitude of cosine of the torsion angle exceeds the magnitude of the corresponding cosine of the unperturbed system. The localized-state energy and spatial extent are calculated as a function of the ratio of the perturbed to unperturbed transfer integrals. Particular attention is paid to the optically active symmetric localized states, and the effective oscillator strength, or square of the absolute magnitude of the transition dipole moment, is calculated as a function of the energy. The relation of the theory to recent optical studies of poly(di-n-octylfluorene) (PF8) is discussed. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.