Title Background

Some Aspects of A-Verse Rhythms in Middle English Alliterative Poetry. <i>Speaking Images. Essays in Honor of V. A. Kolve</i>

Some Aspects of A-Verse Rhythms in Middle English Alliterative Poetry. Speaking Images. Essays in Honor of V. A. Kolve

Continuing the author’s analysis of the verse design of Middle English alliterative poetry, this article explores the canons of evidence for deriving valid metrical rules from an axiomatically flawed corpus. It addresses Thomas Cable’s claim that a metrical rule required two strong dips (that is, dips with two or more unstressed syllables) and shows that the minimal requirement for alliterative a-verses demanded the presence of two stressed and alliterated syllables and at least one strong dip. Verses of the pattern wSwS(w) and (w)SwSw (the parentheses indicating an optional syllable) are rejected as inauthentic and subject to emendation. [HND]

Volume

Ed. R. F. Yeager and Charlotte Morse. Asheville, NC: Pegasus Press, 2000: 479-503.

Author

Duggan, Hoyt N.