Old English Poetry Essays On Style

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Greenfield similarly recongnizes in these formulas the reference to ‘the body of things told’, ‘the storehouse of memory’ (‘The Authenticating Voice’, p. Emphasizing, as they do, the importance of a fact - known by common report - or the truth of a story, they are naturally employed to introduce poems or sections of poems…to point out some sort of progress in the narrative…to call attention to the greatness of a person, object, or action…They add an element of variety to the plain statement of facts, and are so eminently useful and convenient that the poets may draw on this stock for almost any occasion’ ‘I have also learned through enquiry that the monster…’ Here, and throughout, my citations follow The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records (hereafter abbreviated to ASPR), ed. In any case, the passage clearly implies the inferiority of his traditional knowledge to the novel truth of Christian revelation and thus represents an attack on this oral habit of mind. Though Opland does, in fact, give consideration to descriptions of poetic performances within poems, these descriptions are at best mimetic (and perhaps not even that) of the compositional practices which produced those poems in which the descriptions occur.What Lord and Magoun originated was the idea of an explicit and necessary connection between the formula, defined by Milman Parry as ‘a group of words regularly used under the same metrical conditions to express a given essential idea’, and a poem's orality.Following the lead of Parry's ground-breaking analyses of Homeric epic and the Parry–Lord field work on South Slavic oral epic, they and scholars following them reasoned that the source of formulaic structure lay in a tradition of oral verse-making and that formulaic phraseology was a kind of poetic idiom fashioned over generations by bards responding to the continual pressure of composition in performance.Quotations from Vuk, with the exception of examples cited directly from the manuscripts, are taken from the edition of Vladan Nedić (Belgrade, 1969).‘Djakon Stefan i dva andjela’ is preserved in part (lines 1–19) as br.8552/257, xxii, 5 of the Archive of the Srpska Akademija Nauka i Umetnosti in Belgrade., in the ‘Beleške i objašnjena’, p.734, we find the following remark: ‘This song is not truly heroic, but more “midway between heroic and lyric [women's] songs” (according to Vuk's distinction), like those in volume one.The half-lines are joined by the oral stressing of alliterative words in the half-lines, both consonants and vowels (Tharaud 34).“At least one of the two stressed words in the first half-line, and usually both of them, begin with the same sound as the first stressed word of the second half-line” (Donaldson 67).I should like to express my appreciation to the University of Cincinnati for the Charles Phelps Taft postdoctoral fellowship during the 1983–4 academic year, which supported much of the research and writing represented here.these two scholars were not the first to identify and discuss the recurrent phrase or ‘formula’ in the poetry; German Higher Criticism of the nineteenth century had analysed the use of commonplaces of diction (or ) to try to determine authorship and to establish the text of various poems.


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