Love Affair with Books

by compound complex 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • LoveUniHateExams

    I've heard of phrases such as 'prose poetry' and 'iambic pentameter' before but I don't know what these and other phrases mean, no.

    Iambic pentameter is something to do with 'five' (pentagon is a five-sided shape). That's the best I can do.

    I've heard of 'prose' but I couldn't say exactly what it means.

    I have reasonably good English skills. Alliteration comes fairly easily - 'flickering fire', 'whistling wind', etc.

    I'm not sure if I'd be any good at poetry but I think I'd be good at writing headlines for downmarket newspapers.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    That's a start, i.e., writing for the papers!

    Don't sell yourself short, LUHE, because you surely do have an ear for words and their effective placement in verse. I am too undisciplined, as well as disinclined, to do metered poetry.

    Prose poetry is written like prose, in paragraphs rather than verse, but contains the characteristics of poetry, such as poetic meter, language play, and a focus on images rather than narrative, plot, and character. Meter is the rhythm of a poem, including syllables per line and which syllables are emphasized.May 18, 2015
  • LoveUniHateExams

    Thanks for the links - I'll look at them later when I have time.

    I often read Old English and Middle English* because I'm interested in the linguistics but there are many poems and prose in these forms of speech, too.

    There's a feature of Old English poetry and prose that I like: kennings (

    A kenning is combining two or more creative words to use in place of a common word. So, for instance banhus ('bone' + 'house' = 'bone-house') is used to mean 'body'.

    Seolbath (seal + bath = seal-bath) and hwaelweg (whale + way = whale-way) mean 'sea'. They're the only ones I can think of, off the top of my head but I'm sure you get the idea.

    *Old English (OE) = English from 350 - 1100AD.

    Middle English (ME) = English from 1100 - 1500AD.

    Modern English (Mod E) = English from 1500AD - to present.

  • compound complex
    compound complex


    Thank you for what you have contributed; the latter, in particular, is new to me.

    Somewhat similar is collocation, the placement of words side-by-side in commonly used expressions:

    strong coffee

    stiff drink

    stricken spirit

    blithering idiot

    make the bed

    set the table

    hearty appetite


  • LoveUniHateExams

    Old English is a Germanic language, much more so than Modern English. Germanic languages regularly combine two or more words to make up one new word.

    The German word for 'glove' is Handschuh (yes, hand-shoe!).

    If you combine the German word for 'shield' (Schild) and 'toad' (Kroete) you get the word for tortoise or turtle (Schildkroete).

    I guess the Old English poets thought seolbath sounded much more interesting or was much more expressive than plain old 'sea' ... and I tend to agree with them!

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Hi Compound Complex!

    What do you make of the following poem. It's in Middle English, from the first half of the 1200s.

    The letter 'ȝ' was pronounced as 'y', so ȝer = year.

    The letter 'þ' was pronounced as 'th', so Þat = That.

    Þat oþer ȝer a faukun bredde –

    His nest noȝt wel he ne bihedde:

    Þarto þu stele in o dai,

    & leidest þaron þi fole ey.

    Þo hit bicom þat he haȝte,

    & of his eyre briddes wraȝte,

    Ho broȝte his briddes mete,

    Bihold his nest, iseȝ hi ete.

    He iseȝ bi one halue

    His nest ifuled uthalue.

    Þe faucun was wroþ wit his bridde,

    & lude ȝal and sterne chidde:

    ‘Segget me wo hauet þis ido!

    Ov nas neuer icunde þarto:

    Hit was idon ov a loþ viste.

    Segget me ȝif ȝe hit wiste!’

    Þo quaþ þat on & quad þat oþer:

    ‘Iwis, hit was ure oȝe broþer –

    Þe ȝond þat haued þat grete heued.

    Wai þat he nis þarof bireued.

    Worp hit ut mid þe alre wurste

    Þat his necke him toberste!’

    Þe faucun ilefde his bridde,

    & nom þat fule brid amidde,

    & worp hit of þan wilde bowe,

    Þar pie & crowe hit todrawe.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Hello, there, LUHE!

    Good to see you again. Will have to chew on the above.


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