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Old Story Measure


Structure, Metrical Requirement, Other Requirement


This is an accentual alliterative form that has each stich (line) containing four stresses and broken with a caesura into two hemistichs of two stresses each. Alliteration: the third stressed syllables always alliterates with the first and/or second stressed syllable. The fourth stressed syllable never alliterates internally, although it may cross-alliterate with the next line. There are two, sometimes three unstressed syllables per hemistich.

Also known as Fornyrðislag

All vowels are considered to alliterate with each other. In the case of syllables beginning with s, sc (sk) can only alliterate with sc, sh with sh, and st with st etc.: similarly, voiced and unvoiced th can only alliterate with themselves.

In Icelandic poetry, unlike Anglo-Saxon, the lines are nearly always end-stopped without enjambment, and are grouped into strophes varying in length from two to six or seven lines, the commonest strophe having four.



Rhythm/Stanza Length: 



See Also:  

Accentual Verse, Alliteration, Anglo-Saxon Accentual Verse, Edda Measures, Enjambment, Song Measure, Speech Measure, Tetrastich




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