Ars Metrica

Ars Metrica 2012/05

The Galician-Portuguese Lyrical Poetry in its Hispanic Context II.


Ripetizione, parallelismo e leixaprén: il testo e la musica
Ella Bernadette Nagy (Università degli Studi di Padova)

This essay examines the relationship among text, meter, and music in the Galician-Portuguese cantigas, using compositions that make explicit reference to dance forms as a point of departure. Several findings point to the existence of the bailada genre in the Galician-Portuguese region, though they are insufficient for defining its precise characteristics. However, the texts under study have certain formal traits in common, such as a basic aaB structure, the presence of a refrán and their frequent use of repetition. The second part of this essay is dedicated to the role of music in the development of the repetitive techniques characteristic of the Galician-Portuguese school (parallelism and leixaprén), as well as to compositions built on meters analogous to the Occitan balada or the French rondel. The study concludes with an examination of the relationship between rhythmic and melodic structure in the Cantigas de Santa Maria, which recall the cantigas de amigo from a formal point of view and share affinities with “choreographic” genres of contemporary romance-language song forms.

Uso y función del verso alejandrino en las Cantigas de Santa María
Elena González-Blanco García – Ma. Gimena del Rio Riande (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia)

In this paper we study the use and function of the Alexandrine, one of the most important verses in medieval Castilian poetry and in Alfonso X’s Cantigas de Santa María. Even though the King’s religious collection has been deeply analyzed in many ways, there are no studies about the use and functions of the Alexandrine verse in the narrative cantigas. We will show how this line serves as a pattern to model narrative content, not only in poems with a well-known source, but also in other texts in which the source is unknown or tied to popular or oral tradition.

Questioni metriche galego-portoghesi. Sulla cosiddetta Lex Mussafia
Rachele Fassanelli (Università di Padova)

Galician-Portuguese poets make wide use of a syllabic verse design in which masculine and feminine verses of the same gross length are equated from strophe to strophe, not only juxtaposed in the body of a single strophe. This correspondence, first noticed by Adolfo Mussafia and traditionally named lex Mussafia, is an apparent violation of the most basic principle of Provençal composition: a given verse should correspond to verses in the same position in all other strophes. The essay aims to show that the common interpretation of the lex is inexactly conceived, because it’s generally referred to all poems in which lines of the same number of syllables are combined. The conclusions offer an analysis of the frequency and distribution of this kind of responsion in the secular Galician-Portuguese lyric.

El tetrástico y las series monorrimas en la poesía occitano-catalana medieval
Joan Mahiques Climent (Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art)

The analysis of a large corpus of medieval Catalan poetry allows us to bind the use of tetrastich and some monorhyme series to the Occitan-Catalan post-troubadour poetry of thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Catalan poetry of fifteenth and sixteenth centuries written in monorhythmic lines is smaller in proportion to that of previous centuries. Most of the works studied here are religious and anonymous. The manuscripts of these compositions are characterized by metrical irregularity, although some poems based in pre-existing melodies, such as Veni, creator Spiritus, which stands out because of its clear tendency to strophic regularity. In fact, some poems have musical notation or rubrics that indicate the tone in which they might be sung. Finally, it is emphasized the use of octosyllabic and decasyllabic verse with caesura; and anaphora and internal rhyme as some of the most common rhetorical devices, specially in long-line stanzas.

La métrica cancioneril en la época de los Reyes Católicos: la poesía de Pedro de Cartagena
Ana M. Rodado Ruiz (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha)

This article analyzes the poetry of Pedro de Cartagena as a representative work about the uses and metric artifices of the court poetry in the age of the Catholic Monarchs. After a long way from the most ancient song-books as Baena’s compilation (PN1) or the Cancionero de Palacio (SA7), in which we can still find traces of Occitan and Galician-Portuguese traditions, the turn-of-the-century song-books represent a moment of fullness in the evolution of the metric genres. Cartagena’s work offers a wide and varied sample of both the metric preferences and the high degree of experimentation reached by the poetry during this fruitful literary period.


The Metrical Structure of Kashmiri Vanɨvun
Sadaf MUNSHI (University of North Texas)

Poetics, as Roman Jakobson states in his remarks about poetry in relation to linguistics, primarily deals with the question, “What makes a verbal message a work of art?” In oral traditions of poetry, various linguistic entities are employed by poets in the formation of metrical constraints without making them obvious as conscious sets of rules (See Kiparsky 1972 [1988]: 96). Many different clues are employed by poets in traditional societies to help understand the nature of these linguistic entities. The main objectives of this paper are: (1) to describe the metrical structure of Vanɨvun – a popular genre of Kashmiri folklore, and (2) to analyze the metrical constraints/peculiarities characterizing the elegant structure of this poetic genre. As a poetic genre, Vanɨvun poses a challenge to most available models of poetic composition where PROMINENCE is treated in terms of metrical asymmetry between Strong and Weak positions. The metrical structure of Vanɨvun presents a three-way distinction in terms of prominence where beats can be classified as: Strong, Weak or Intermediate. The distinction is based on interplay of quantitative, positional and rhythmic factors characteristic of Kashmiri phonological stress (See Munshi & Crowhurst 2011). Under this view, each metrical division (“measure”) in a line typically behaves like a trisyllabic prosodic word in which a primary stress falls on the first and a secondary (“intermediate”) stress on the third (final) syllable. The desired output is achieved through various repair mechanisms in the form of quantity-increasing and/or decreasing strategies applying to the input. Keywords: accentual verse, lexical selection genres, metrics, metricality, morphophonemics, quantitative verse, sprung rhythm, stress, syllabic verse, versification.

Keywords: accentual verse, lexical selection genres, metrics, metricality, morphophonemics, quantitative verse, sprung rhythm, stress, syllabic verse, versification.