Ars Metrica

Questioni metriche galego-portoghesi.

Sulla cosiddetta Lex Mussafia

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. Read more