[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Large set of parts

From: J Martin Rushton
Subject: Re: Large set of parts
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2018 14:44:08 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.7.0

On 29/04/18 13:42, Wol's lists wrote:
> On 29/04/18 00:00, J Martin Rushton wrote:
>> On 28/04/18 04:46, Karlin High wrote:
>>> On 4/27/2018 8:28 PM, Andrew Bernard wrote:
>>>> It falls into the category of alliteration, which abounds in English
>>> As a poetry form, too - "Beowulf" and J. R. R. Tolkien's unfinished work
>>> "The Fall of Arthur" come to mind. Sort of like "rhyming" the beginnings
>>> of the words instead of the endings.
>> Most poetry until Chaucer foisted the French custom of end-rhymes on us.
>>   See for example "Sir Gawaine and the Greene Knight" or "The vision of
>> Piers the Ploughman".
> Shakespeare is almost all poetry, not prose. And it rarely rhymes. I
> can't remember the correct term, but poetry is defined by repeating
> rhythms, not by rhyming. Much like music, actually ... :-)
> Cheers,
> Wol

When Shakespeare did rhyme he used end-rhymes, as did most later poets.
Consider the opening of Piers:

In a | somur | seasoun whan | softe was þe | sonne
Y | shope me into | shroudes as | y a | shep were;
In | abite as an | hermite, vn- | holy of | werkes,
| Went forth in þe | world | wondres to | here,

I've inserted bar lines where the stress lies.  Not all stresses are
alliterative (werkes, here) but the regular alliterative framework
defines the beat and drives the the poem on.  Compare this to Chaucer's
opening, possibly written in the same year (1387) but using a French style:

| Whan that | Aprill with his  | shoures | soote
The | droghte of | March hath | perced to the | roote,
And | bathed every | veyne in | swich | licour
Of | which | vertu | engenedred is the | flour

Apart from the alliteration at the end of line 1, the stresses are less
obvious and the phrasing is given by the couplets.  I agree that
Shakespeare goes further and moves into blank verse, but regularly
softens this and returns to end rhyme in extended passages:

I know a bank where the wild thyme grows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.

indeed the whole of this speech (20 lines) is end rhymed (Oberon in
Midsummer night's dream: II,i) as are the preceding ones on the same page.

I may be sticking my neck out a bit here, but I'm not aware of any major
poet writing extended alliterative poetry after 1400.  Examples exist of
alliterative phrases and short (4-6 line) sections which consciously
refer to the earlier style but they are done as a contrast.


Attachment: signature.asc
Description: OpenPGP digital signature

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]