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This book traces the development of hypermetric verse in Old English and compares it to the cognate traditions of Old Norse and Old Saxon. The study illustrates the inherent flexibility of the hypermetric line and shows how poets were able to manipulate this flexibility in different contexts for different practical and rhetorical purposes. This analysis shows what degree of control the poets had over the traditional alliterative line, what effects they were able to produce with various stylistic choices, and how attention to poetic style aids literary analysis.
Medieval Institute Publications
Old English, comparative metrics, hypermetric, style, oral theory
Literature in English, British Isles | Medieval Studies
Citation for Published Book
Hartman, Megan E. Poetic Style and Innovation in Old English, Old Norse, and Old Saxon. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 2020.
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