Romanic Review, Vol. III , pp. Of lines, nearly one-half were in class 1 ; in class 2 ; and in class 3. The remaining lines did not belong to any one of these three classes.
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Of lines, slightly more than one-half were in class 1 ; 94 were in class 2 ; and 75 in class 3. Note that, in these arrangements of the syllable lines, the irregularities in rhythm are found only in the first four syllables. Some poets have used at times a quite regular binary movement in Spanish verse; but they have had few or no followers, as the effect was too monotonous to please the Spanish ear. On the other hand, some recent "decadent" poets have written verses in which the principle of symmetry of phrases, or of a fixed number of syllables, is abandoned, and rhythm and rime are considered sufficient to make the lines musical.
Thus, Leopoldo Lugones born ? Lunario sentimental , Buenos Aires, :. This is largely a harking back to primitive conditions, for in the oldest Castilian narrative verse the rule of "counted syllables" apparently did not prevail. And, although xlvii in the old romances the half-lines of eight syllables largely predominate, many are found with seven or nine syllables, and some with even fewer or more.
The adoption of the rule of "counted syllables" in Spanish may have been due to one or more of several causes: to the influence of medieval Latin rhythmic songs; 10 to French influence; or merely to the development in the Spanish people of a feeling for artistic symmetry. Other poets of to-day write verses in which the line contains a fixed number of syllables or any multiple of that number. Spanish poets have often tried to write verses in classical meters with the substitution of stress for quantity.
Thus, Villegas in the following hexameters:. The number of these direct imitations is large; but few succeeded.
They are, at best, foreign to the spirit of Castilian poetry. In singing Spanish verses two facts are of especial interest: that, where the rules of prosody require synalepha, hiatus sometimes occurs especially in opera , thus:.
And that musical accents do not necessarily coincide with syllabic stresses, even at the end of a phrase. In most modern Spanish verse there is a fixed number of syllables in a line up to and including the last stressed syllable. In order to have the correct number of syllables, poets sometimes 1 shorten a word or 2 shift the accent:. Syneresis may occur: sua ve. If the syllable after a -is stressed, dieresis usually occurs:. But dieresis is impossible if the diphthong is ie or ue from Latin [e] and [o] respectively, as in bien , siente , huevo , puedo.
The final vowel or diphthong of one word and the initial vowel or diphthong of an immediately following word in the same line usually combine to form one syllable this is called "synalepha" 18 as in:. Note that the union of vowels in separate words is called synalepha, while the union of vowels within a word is called syneresis. But synalepha may occur in combinations of vowels in which syneresis would be impossible.
The vowels of three words may thus combine if the middle word is a or ha see also 4 , a :.
In modern Spanish, h , being silent, has no effect, but in older Spanish, h for Latin f , being then pronounced, prevented synalepha, as in:. Hiatus was common in Old Spanish, except when the first of two words was the definite article, a personal pronoun-object or the preposition de ; or when the vowels were the same.
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Gi gan te o la que el vien to In estimating the number of syllables in a Spanish verse-line one final unstressed syllable after the last stressed syllable is counted whether it be present or not; or, if there be two unstressed syllables at the end of the line, only one is counted. This system of counting syllables obtains in Spanish because there is one and only one unstressed syllable at the end of most verse-lines. It would, perhaps, be more logical to stop the count with the last stressed syllable, as the French do.
For instance, a Spanish syllable line would be called a "feminine" syllable line by the French; but the French language has only one vowel e that may occur in a final unstressed syllable, while in Spanish there are several a, e, o, rarely i, u. Spanish poetry may be in rimed verse or in blank verse. In a diphthong consisting of a strong and a weak vowel the weak vowel may be disregarded in rime. Blank verse usually consists of syllable lines. Blank verse is little used in Spanish.
It occurs chiefly in serious satirical or philosophical poems. But separate versos sueltos are introduced into some varieties of compositions, such as the romance, seguidilla, silva , etc. In modern Spanish this verse is commonly found in lines of seven, eight or eleven syllables. It may occur in lines of any length; but in lines of five or six syllables the binary and ternary movements are generally mingled. This line usually has only one rhythmic accent, which falls on the seventh syllable. Rarely 8-syllable lines are written with a fixed accent on the third syllable cf.
Next to the popular 8-syllable line the most important measure in modern Spanish verse is that of eleven syllables, with binary movement, which came to Spain from Italy in the fifteenth century, and was generally accepted by the writers of the Siglo de Oro. This syllable line, though of foreign origin, has held the boards as the chief erudite measure in Spanish verse for four centuries, and taken all in all it is the noblest metrical form for serious poems in modern Spanish. A striking peculiarity of the line is its flexibility.
It is not divided into hemistichs as were its predecessors, the syllable Alexandrine and the syllable arte mayor verse; but it consists of two phrases and the position of the inner rhythmic accent is usually variable. A well constructed line of this type has a rhythmic accent on the sixth syllable, or a rhythmic accent on the fourth syllable usually with syllabic stress on the eighth , beside the necessary accent in the tenth position.
Generally the inner accent falls on the sixth syllable approximately twice as often as on the fourth. Logically, the close of the first phrase should coincide with the end of the word that receives the inner rhythmic accent, and this is usually so, as in:. The syllable line may be used alone. The neo-classic poets of the eighteenth century and some of the earlier romanticists even used it in redondillas or assonated: lxiv.
But the poets of the Siglo de Oro and the neo-classic poets generally used it in combination with 7-syllable lines, as in Leon's verses:. Usually, in the long lines, the inner accent falls on the fourth syllable, with syllabic stress on the eighth, and with cesura after the fifth syllable. Thus: Mele op. In the Sapphic strophe of Francisco de la Torre d. The 7-syllable line is commonly used in combination with those of eleven syllables see above. In the seventeenth century, particularly, the 7-syllable line was used in anacreontics, lxvi artistic romances, quintillas, etc.
In present-day songs the 7-syllable line is rather rare, except in combination with lines of five syllables, as in:. The Old Spanish Alexandrine verse-line was composed of two 7-syllable half-lines. The old Alexandrine fell before the rising popularity of the arte mayor verse early in the fifteenth century. In the eighteenth century a syllable Alexandrine appears in Spanish in imitation of the classic French line. This later Spanish Alexandrine is not composed of two distinct half-lines.
Thus, Iriarte:. There is an inner rhythmic accent on the sixth syllable. Iriarte also revived the older Alexandrine, but without hiatus:. Recent poets have revived the old Alexandrine. It should be noted that these latter verses, like most Spanish patriotic songs, are sung with ternary movement, thus:. This syllable measure is cantabile, and its phrases are too short and too regular to make good recitative verse. Thus, in these lines of Victorio Giner who probably introduced this strophe into Spain in the second half of the nineteenth century :.
The 9-syllable line was not well received in Spain, and it has been little used. Iriarte, in his desire to vary the metrical constructions of his fables, used it at least once:. There is certainly no fixed inner rhythmic accent in these lines. The fact seems to be that the 9-syllable line is too long to be uttered comfortably in one phrase, or breath-group, and it is too short to be regularly divided into parts by cesura.
Verse with regular ternary movement may occur in lines of any length, but it is commonly found only in lines of ten, eleven or twelve syllables. Many ternary lines of five and six syllables are found, but they are almost invariably mingled with binary lines. This rondel antiguo Nebrija, quoted by Men. In lines with regular ternary movement, properly speaking, every primary stress receives a rhythmic accent, and lxxi these accents are always separated by two atonic syllables, as in:.
Rarely one finds 6-syllable and 9-syllable lines with regular ternary movement, and these are probably never of popular origin. In the nineteenth century this line came to be popular in patriotic songs which are sung by the multitude, while the crash of the drum marks the rhythmic accents:. The commoner form of verse with syllable ternary lines is that popularly called " de gaita gallega " Men. X, gives, in his collection of Romances tradicionales de Asturias , the following one in ternary syllable lines:.
It should be noted that this poem has assonance of the odd and of the even lines. Iriarte and L. Moratin did not scorn to use this line.
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The syllable line of ternary movement has had less vogue in artistic verse than those of ten and twelve syllables. In Las hijas del Cid E. These are blank verses with occasional assonance. The Spanish ternary syllable line was formerly used chiefly in combination with lines of ten or eleven syllables. Some examples of mingled and syllable lines have already been given above. Another is:.
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