By Geoffrey Russom
This can be a transparent and obtainable account of early Germanic alliterative verse that explains how such verse was once handled by way of the Beowulf poet. There are transformations of poetic sort among Beowulf and the differently 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differences have intrigued students for over a century, yet Russom is the 1st to supply a scientific clarification of outdated English, outdated Norse, previous Saxon and previous excessive German alliterative meters. Russom's effects should still curiosity students of outdated English and comparable Germanic languages, in addition to linguists and people all in favour of poetic meter.
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Additional resources for Beowulf and Old Germanic Metre (Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England)
004 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2013 Beowulf and Old Germanic metre S OME IMPO S S I B L E V E R S E P A TT E R N S Employment of proditics in verse-final position is blocked by a universal principle of syntactic integrity: Ul When identification of verse boundaries is problematic, verses corresponding to natural syntactic units are preferred. This principle applies quite strictly to Germanic metres, with their problematic variety of foot patterns and verse patterns. Any proditic after the last stressed word of a verse belongs to the following verse, and will obey all rules applying to that verse.
See Rp 819. 40 'Breior and Bondi . . ' 42 'and Hiordfs . ' 43 'Young Konr rode . . ' 44 Cf. Rp 817; Hdl 912, 10/2 and 29/7. 45 Cf. 4 and 6/8. 46 Cf. 28/2 and 43/ 1 . 4 7 The first ten stanzas o f Havamal, fo r example, contain seven short verses, each placed first in its half-stanza (2/ 1 , 2/4, 3/1, 4/1 , 5/1 , 8/1 and 9/1). Snorri's paradigmatic stanza in Hattatal regularizes this arrangement, with the first verse of the half-stanza always shore, the second always longer, and the third always longest.
4 1 ). 2 5 See AGM, §10. 1 . 19 on Mon Sep 02 17:37:18 WEST 2013. 003 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2013 The foot Table 2. 1 Old Norse foot patterns Feet Corresponding words x oc 'and' um (filler word) kne' 'knee' yfir 'over', prep. drottinn 'lord' mi/Jgar/Jr 'middle earth' ertattu 'you are not' jafaa/Ji 'he trimmed' vantattu 'you did not hinder' hei/ra/Ji 'wholesome counsel' hveitiakr 'wheat field' bekkjunautr 'bench companion' S xx Sx Ss xxx Sxx Ssx Sxs A L I S T O F FOOT P A T T E RN S The lexical inventory of Old Norse yields the inventory of foot patterns shown in table 2 .