Beowulf and Old Germanic Metre (Cambridge Studies in by Geoffrey Russom

By Geoffrey Russom

This can be a transparent and available account of early Germanic alliterative verse that explains how such verse used to be handled by means of the Beowulf poet. There are changes of poetic sort among Beowulf and the another way comparable verse of historical Scandinavia and continental Europe. Such differences have intrigued students for over a century, yet Russom is the 1st to supply a scientific clarification of previous English, previous Norse, previous Saxon and outdated excessive German alliterative meters. Russom's effects should still curiosity students of outdated English and similar Germanic languages, in addition to linguists and people inquisitive about poetic meter.

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Extra info for Beowulf and Old Germanic Metre (Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England)

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32 'and to plough'. 33 'he met . . 19 on Mon Sep 02 17:37:35 WEST 2013. 004 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2013 Beowulf and Old Germanic metre verses in Rfgspula ( 1 2/22) end with the phrase at pat, and five of these are outright repetitions. 34 After the first such verse was analysed, the others would be easy to interpret. Only three other type B verses are like (17), which ends with a fully stressed noun. 35 The poet fills the Sx/S pattern quite differently. In twenty-four examples, there is a strongly stressed noun or adjective on the verse-final S position, as in ( 1 3) and (14).

7 Drottkvatt, §62. 9 'co him Beowulf's journey was . . 10 The syncaccically problematic Beo 6a is emended in Klaeber, and I assume chat it is due co scribal error. 19 on Mon Sep 02 17:37:35 WEST 2013. 004 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2013 Beowulf and Old Germanic metre Although it has a relatively low frequency, the verse pattern Sxx/S occurs too often i n our Eddie corpus to ignore. 1 1 Consider the following: (5) kQllooo I Karl 1 2 (Rp 2 113) [Sxx/S} (6) Latumat I okkr1 3 (Wk Ang 29a) [Sxx/S} (7) Freyio at I qvren 1 4 (Prk 8/8) [Sxx/S} (8) (9) ( 1 0) ne I nioia in heldr1 5 sem I biorg e3a brim 1 6 um I lQnd oc um 1Qg 17 (HH 1 2/3) (HH 28/5) (Hdl 2417) The paradigmatic example (5) has a trisyllabic finite verb in the first foot.

48 In native Eddie fornyroislag, Sx is accordingly the standard foot. In relation to this standard, a foot with one metrical position is short and a foot with three metrical positions is long. A foot with no S position is light in relation to the Sx standard. A foot with an S position and an s position is heavy. The standard verse iterates the standard foot to produce the pattern Sx/Sx, which has four metrical positions (Sievers type Al). A short verse has fewer than four metrical positions; a long verse has more than four.

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