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Ringler, Dick / Beowulf: A New Translation for Oral Delivery (May 2005)

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The Meter of the Translation

It should be emphasized that this translation of Beowulf does not attempt an exact reproduction of the meter of the original (which is a debated matter anyway) but only something reasonably similar. [1*]


Notes

[1*] With four major exceptions, the meter of the translation is based on the Sievers/Bliss analysis of the meter of the original, that is, the analysis proposed by E. Sievers, Altgermanische Metrik (Halle 1893) as modified in important respects by A. J. Bliss, The Metre of Beowulf (Oxford 1962). (Sievers identified five diffrent patterns of stress-distribution in the verses of Beowulf and labeled them types ABCD and E in order of decreasing frequency.) The four exceptions are (1) the omission of all verse types involving secondary stress, (2) the elimination of the role played by resolved stress, (3) the introduction of verses of Type F, and (4) the admission of extended anacruses in forestressed verse types A, D, and E. For an inventory of verse types permitted in the present translation, see below.

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