By Geoffrey Russom
This can be a transparent and available account of early Germanic alliterative verse that explains how such verse used to be taken care of through the Beowulf poet. There are variations of poetic sort among Beowulf and the differently related 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differences have intrigued students for over a century, yet Russom is the 1st to supply a scientific clarification of outdated English, outdated Norse, previous Saxon and previous excessive German alliterative meters.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 previous English and similar Germanic languages, in addition to linguists and people occupied with poetic meter.
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Additional info for Beowulf and Old Germanic Metre
37 In the metres that concern us here, however, the location of foot boundaries is much more difficult to deduce from the stress contour of the verse alone, and bracketing mismatches are likely to contravene the fundamental principle P2, which requires feet to be readily identifiable. Like the Beowulf poet, Old Norse poets adhere to an especially strict set of bracketing rules: R2a Every foot boundary must coincide with a word boundary. Note: the internal boundaries of compounded forms count as word boundaries for the purposes of this rule.
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.
In Beowulf, this pattern occurs with a frequency of 2 per cent; in the Norse corpus, its frequency is no more than 1 per cent. The number of Norse Db verses genuinely comparable to those in Beowulf is very small. Most putative examples can be analysed as �2 The Old English examples are Beo 96a, 1 1 5a, 144a, 480a, 536a, 630a, 1 363a, 21 77a, 2766a, 2933a, 2985a, 3 1 5 9a, 3 1 78a; 292b, 560b, 1 8 1 9b, 2619b and 3 1 03b. Putative additions to this list are 898a, 3042a, 1944a, 2253a and 379b. The Old Norse a-verses are Prk 1 11 1 ; HH 2317; HHv 5/1; HH II 415, 5/5, 517, 617, 2217, 5 115; Rp 4515; Hdl 29/ 1 , 5017; and Grt 615.
Beowulf and Old Germanic Metre by Geoffrey Russom