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African Verse

Qe'ne is a genre of ecclesiastic verse from 5th century Ethiopia. The verse makes use of onomatopoeia and imagism with regular rhythms and sonorous tones. Because of its long held oral traditions it is said to be "miraculously God sent and only for Ethiopians".

The verse seems to be a compilation of auditory features that so dominate and manipulate that the flaw of the verse may be that form often trumps content. However this can be true of all verse forms and the examples found in the article by Daniachew Worku linked below certainly make this a genre worth further study.

"The best and beautiful composition of Qe'ne is based on a certain kind of symphonic composition: - verbal unity based on the lilting melodiousness of rhythmical language, sonorous rhymes and tonalities- phonetic wealth of sentences, auditory effects, symbolic undercurrents, repetitions, allusions and hints - subtle brilliancy of humour as a satirical weapon exposing reality through the bizarre, making dreams and fantastic visions emerge out of comic situations; and finally - on its device of Wax and Gold: the Wax (Vehicle) as the Image by which the idea is conferred and the Gold (Tenor) as the IDEA being expressed or the subject of the comparison." Daniachew Worku


African Poetic Genres and Forms

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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