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Aeolic Ode/Aeolic Verse/ Asclepiad meter/Glyconics


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The Ode
Greek Verse

Aeolic Verse, refers to poetry made up from any of a group of metric patterns commonly used in the lyrical works of Sappho and Alcaeus. Aeolis was the west and northwestern region of Asia Minor which included most of the Greek city-states and the Island of Lesbos in the 8th to 6th centuries BC, the Greek Dark Ages. Four classic meters are known from that culture, the Alcaic Stanza, the Sapphic Stanza, Glyconics (the basic form of Aeolics) and Hendecasyllabic Verse,. The verse is quantitative, usually hendecasyllabic, employing 11 syllables and often includes an anceps, a quantitative metric foot that includes a syllable that could be interpreted either long or short. The metric patterns helped set a tranquil or contemplative tone.  

The Aeolic Ode is the earliest of the Odes, the product of an ancient Greek culture but I've found little descriptive information other than some quantitative scansion showing a similarity to the Adonic line of the Sapphic strophe. It is said to have a contemplative or tranquil tone.

An asclepiad is one of the Aeolic meters attributed to Asclepiades of Samos. The aclepiad follows a particular metric pattern. It is built around the choriamb (metric pattern of LssL). The common example is a spondee followed by 2 choriambs and an iamb. LL LssL LssL sL, (L = long syllable, s = short syllable) the meter was used by Horace and others in Latin. An example in English is:

In Due Season by WH Auden

Springtime, Summer and Fall: days to behold a world
Antecedent to our knowing, where flowers think
Theirs concretely in scent-colors and beasts, the same
Age all over, pursue dumb horizontal lives.
On one level of conduct and so cannot be
Secretary to man's plot to become divine.

Lodged in all is a set metronome: thus, in May
Bird-babes, still in the egg, click to each other "Hatch!";
June-struck cuckoos go off pitch when obese July
Turns earth's heating up; unknotting their poisoned ropes.
Vipers move into play; warmed by October's nip,
Younger leaves to the old give the releasing draught.

Winter, though, has the right tense for a look indoors
At ourselves and with First Names to sit face to face,
Time for reading of thoughts, time for trying out
Of new meters and new recipes, proper time
To reflect on events noted in warmer months
Till, transmuted, they take part in a human tale.

There, responding to our cry for intelligence,
Nature's mask is relaxed into a mobile grin,
Stones, old shoes, come alive, born sacramental signs,
Nod to us in the First Person of mysteries.
They know nothing about, bearing a mess from
The invisible sole Source of specific things.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Long Island University, C.W. Post College

Glyconics is said to be the basic Aeolic meter named for the Greek, 6th century poet Glycon, although I have to admit to not quite understanding it and it doesn't look basic to me at all. I have found 4 different lines described as "glyconic".

  1. The first line described is a trimeter line of 5 syllables. The 1st metric foot is an ancepts which is a "double-headed" foot, the 2 syllables can be either long or short sounds.The 2nd metric foot is 2 short sounds and the last metric foot is catalectic, 1 short syllable and a pause where the 2nd short syllable was dropped. xx / ss / s -- x being a syllable with either a long or short sound and s represents a syllable with a short sound.
  2. The second is a trimeter line made up of a spondee followed by 2 dactyls. LL/ Lss / Lss
  3. And the third is a tetrameter line of 3 trochees followed by a dactyl Ls/Ls/Ls/Lss
  4. The last one is a tetrameter line made up of a dactyl and 3 trochees which can be varied by placing the dactyl in the 2nd or 3rd foot. Ls/Lss/Ls/Ls or Ls/Ls/Lss/Ls. These last 2 were found at Kaleidoscope

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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