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Hebrew poetry was Re: Insane Question

From:Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 28, 2003, 1:35
On Monday 27 January 2003 01:01 pm, Karapcik, Mike wrote:
> Old Semitic poetry is often described as "step poetry". In this, > one phrase or idea is repeated regularly and expanded upon each time.
The basic unit of the (Biblical) Hebrew poem is the colon (plural cola). There is usually a balancing between combinations of cola, which is refered to as parallelism. The most frequent combination is the bicolon (two cola in parallelism; e.g. Ps. 1:6) with the tricolon (three cola in parallelism; e.g. Ps. 100:1) and monocolon (one colon standing alone, e.g. Ps. 1:1a) occuring at times as well. There are three common types of parallelism, the first, synonymous parallelism, states that A is essentially parallel in meaning to B (Ps. 20:1). The second, antithetical parallelism, constrasts A and B (Ps. 20:7). The third, synthetic parallelism, is more of a catch-all category, in that the relationship between A and B is much looser, which include: (1) a statement or reason (B gives reason for A, often connected by "because" or "for") (2) statement/question (A or B is a question, e.g. Ps. 6:5, 119:9) (3) statement/refrain (refrain B s repeated throught the psalm section) (4) comparison (A is a simile, withe B expressing the reality of the comparison, e.g. Ps. 103:13) (5) progression (B extends or develops the thought found in A, e.g. Is. 40:9, Ps. 1:3) (6) specification or explanation (B explains or makes the thought in A more specific, e.g. Ps. 18:24, Ps. 72:9) (7) statement/result (B provides the result or purpose of A, often connected by "to" or "that"). I often wish that modern English poetry would find its voice again. Robert Frost said something to the effect that "writing free verse is like playing tennis without the net." I tend to agree with him; I feel that there needs to be some sort of conscious rules at work, even if it isn't rhyme (which nowadays seems passe or something). For some reason, I have the instinct that tells me that if poetry isn't hard to write, if the poet doesn't sweat and struggle at least a little bit with the craft, then it really isn't poetry, but prose with weird linebreaks. ObConlang: Conlang poems that invent words specifically to rhyme or fit with the meter or whatever is cheating in my opinion. :) :Peter


Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>