Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Hisperic Style in the Old English "Rhyming Poem"

James W. Earl
PMLA
Vol. 102, No. 2 (Mar., 1987), pp. 187-196
DOI: 10.2307/462547
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/462547
Page Count: 10
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($4.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Hisperic Style in the Old English "Rhyming Poem"
Preview not available

Abstract

The "Rhyming Poem" is a bizarre verse experiment combining a rhyme scheme common in Latin hymnody with a stringent use of Old English alliterative meter. It has been thought that the poet, in his unsuccessful effort to carry out his self-appointed metrical task, strained his language to the breaking point, producing a poem crackpot, incompetent, and quickly corrupted. It is more likely, however, that the poet was being linguistically inventive in the manner of many such experiments in Carolingian and Hiberno-Latin poetry. Such obscurantism only exaggerates a quality already present in much Old English verse, notably in the latter part of The Exeter Book, where the "Rhyming Poem" is found, and also in much Norse and Irish verse. Considering the several poetic traditions coexisting in Anglo-Saxon England, it is surprising that the "Rhyming Poem" is the only example of the genre in Old English.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
187
    187
  • Thumbnail: Page 
188
    188
  • Thumbnail: Page 
189
    189
  • Thumbnail: Page 
190
    190
  • Thumbnail: Page 
191
    191
  • Thumbnail: Page 
192
    192
  • Thumbnail: Page 
193
    193
  • Thumbnail: Page 
194
    194
  • Thumbnail: Page 
195
    195
  • Thumbnail: Page 
196
    196