Rum, ram, ruf, and rym: Middle English alliterative meters

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Title: Rum, ram, ruf, and rym: Middle English alliterative meters
Author: Cole, Kristin Lynn, 1971-
Abstract: The alliterating poems written during the Alliterative Revival have mistakenly been grouped together metrically , when in fact they represent a diversity of meters . They mainly use the same phonology , however , which was also current in Chaucer and Gower's poetic dialects . In detailing the diverse meters , this study argues that the meter is simple and learnable both in the fourteenth and twenty -first centuries . Chapter 1 establishes the current intractability of Middle English metrical studies , defines the English context in which these poems were written , and challenges the traditional bifurcation of English poetry into accentual and syllable -stress . The largest group of poems shares a common meter based on long unrhymed alliterating lines that use historical final - -e and asymmetrical half -lines as structuring devices . Chapter 2 adds elision to Thomas Cable's metrical system to demonstrate that Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Piers Plowman are both regular , and they belong to the same metrical tradition despite the usual move by metrists to set Piers Plowman to one side . Chapter 3 compares the meter of The Destruction of Troy with the alliterative meter described in Chapter 2 and finds that Troy uses a meter that only superficially resembles the alliterative meter because the poet does not employ half -line dissimilation . Chapter 4 compares the Gawain -poet's Pearl and the bobs and wheels from Gawain to reveal that their meters belong to neither of the two traditional schools of poetry , but is instead a medieval dolnik . Chapter 5 concludes on several of the Harley Lyrics , further problematizes the binary of native and non -native meters , and hypothesizes that the medieval audience expected a diversity of metrical experiments combining these traditions in various ways .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /3561
Date: 2008-08-28

Citation

Rum, ram, ruf, and rym: Middle English alliterative meters. Doctoral dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /3561 .

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