Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus
  • Announcements

    • tonyv

      Registration -- to join PMO ***UPDATED INSTRUCTIONS***   03/14/2017

      Automatic registration has been disabled. If you would like to join the Poetry Magnum Opus online community, use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page and follow these instructions: 1. Check your email (including your spam folder) in a timely fashion for a reply. 2. After you receive a reply, use the "Sign Up" link at the top right corner of the page to create your account. Do this fast. I've lost my patience with people who use the "Contact Us" link to express interest in joining and then don't bother to check their email for a reply and don't bother to join after registration has been enabled. The queue fills up fast with spammers, and I have to spend my time sifting through the rubbish to delete them. The window of opportunity for joining will be short. I will not have my time wasted. If you don't check your email and you don't bother registering promptly, you will find that registration has been disabled and your future requests to join may go ignored. /s/ Tony ___________________ [Registration will only be enabled for a short while from the time your message is received, so please check your email for a reply and register within 12 hours of using the "Contact Us" link. (Be sure to check your spam folder if you don't see a reply to your message.)]
    • tonyv

      IMPORTANT: re Logging In to PMO ***Attention Members***   03/15/2017

      For security purposes, please use your email address when logging in to the site. This will prevent your account from being locked when malicious users try to log in to your account using your publicly visible display name. If you are unable to log in, use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page.
    • tonyv

      Blogs   05/01/2017

      Blogs are now accessible to Guests. Guests may read and reply to blog entries. We'll see how this works out. If Guest participation becomes troublesome, I'll disable Guest access. Members are encouraged to make use of the PMO Members' Promotional Blog to promote their published works. Simply add your latest entry to the blog. Include relevant information (your name or screen name, poem title, periodical name, hyperlink to the site where published, etc). If you have a lot of them and feel you need your own blog, let me know, and I will try to accommodate you. Members are encouraged to continue also posting their promotional topics in the Promotions forum on the board itself which is better suited for archiving promotions.
Sign in to follow this  
Tinker

Anglo Saxon Verse /Alliterative Verse/Strong stress Verse

Recommended Posts

Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
English Verse

Anglo Saxon Verse or Prosody, sometimes called Alliterative Verse or Strong stress Verse, appears to be the oldest metrical system in English poetry. Old English or Anglo-Saxon, was the predominant English language before the year 1100. The powerful accents of the Anglo-Saxon language are a natural foundation for a heavily accented verse form.

The structure of the Anglo Saxon line is organized by stress and alliteration, also referred to as accentual Verse, strong stress meter or alliterative stress meter. The classic epic poem Beowulf illustrates the power of the verse. Although thought to be composed in the 7th or 8th century AD, the earliest manuscript is from 1000 AD, author unknown.

Famed was this Beowulf: far flew the boast of him,
son of Scyld, in the Scandian lands.
So becomes it a youth to quit him well
with his father's friends, by fee and gift,
that to aid him, aged, in after days,
come warriors willing, should war draw nigh,
liegemen loyal: by lauded deeds
shall an earl have honor in every clan.

A more modern example of the use of Anglo Saxon Prosody is
Junk by Richard Wilbur
                       
Huru Welandes
                           
worc ne geswiceσ?
                        monna ænigum
                        σara σe Mimming can
                        heardne gehealdan.
                                                Waldere

An axe angles
                  from my neighbor's ashcan;
It is hell's handiwork,
                  the wood not hickory,
The flow of the grain
                  not faithfully followed.
The shivered shaft
                  rises from a shellheap
of plastic playthings,
                  paper plates,
And the sheer shards
                  of shattered tumblers
That were not annealed
                  for the time needful.
At the same curbside,
                  a cast-off cabinet
Of wavily warped
                  unseasoned wood
Waits to be trundled
                  in the trash-man's truck.
Haul them off! Hide them!
                 The heart winces
For junk and gimcrack,
                 for jerrybuilt things
And the men who make them
                -for a little money,
Bartering pride
                 like the bought boxer
Who pulls his punches,
                 or the paid-off jockey
Who in the home stretch|
                 holds in his horse.
Yet the things themselves
                 in thoughtless honor
Have kept composure,
                like captives who would not
Talk under torture.
                Tossed from a tailgate
Where the dump displays
                its random dolmens,
Its black barrows
               and blazing valleys,
They shall waste in the weather
               toward what they were.
The sun shall glory
                  in the glitter of glass-chips,
Foreseeing the salvage
                  of the prisoned sand,
And the blistering paint
                  peel off in patches,
That the good grain
                  be discovered again.
Then burnt, bulldozed,
                  they shall all be buried
To the depth of diamonds,
                 in the making dark
Where halt Hephaestus
               -keeps his hammer
And Wayland's work
               is worn away.

The elements of Anglo Saxon Prosody are:

  1. suited to narrative or lyrical verse.
  2. accentual verse. The standard Anglo-Saxon line is measured by four strong stressed syllables in the line, most often in two hemistiches (half lines) of two stresses each.
  3. strophic rather than stanzaic, the unit of verse is the line itself. The lines normally follow one after another without break. There can be any number of lines with breaks more like prose, at the end of a paragraph.
  4. alliterated. Two or three of the four stressed syllables often alliterate. Usually the last stressed syllable of the line is not alliterated. Alliteration and assonance emphasize stress.
  5. varied, "rests" or the occasional omission of one stressed syllable (especially in the second hemistich) keeps the poetic structure varied and expressive, providing a contrast.

    Bondage Broken by Judi Van Gorder

    Born under the yoke,
                       his burden weighted,
    the sting of the strap,
                       the scrape of chains,
    the bitter bite of
                       being sold on the block,
    damned without dying
                       he drudged from sunrise
    to lay down at dusk,
                      drained of spirit.
    Even his song was sorrowful,
                      his soul exposed.
    A birch, when bent too far,
                      breaks.
    In the black before dawn,
                      he bolted into the dark,
    he fled from fear,
                      freedom yet a word.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.