Adonic verse

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The Adonische verse , even Adonius [ adoːni̯us ] or Adoneus [ adoneːʊs ] is a fünfsilbiges meter of ancient origin, which consists of a dactyl and a trochee is (-◡◡ | -◡), rarely with a spondee instead of Trochäus (-◡◡ | ——).

The Adonic verse is named after the songs about the death of Adonis , namely after the complaint ὦ τὸν Ἄδωνιν ( o ton Adonin "Oh, the Adonis!"), Which corresponds to this meter.

Ancient seal

The Adonic verse is mostly used at the end of the Sapphic stanza . Stichisch ranked uses it Boethius at the end of the first book its Consolatio philosophiae ; the first verses:

Nubibus atris
Condita nullum
Fundere possunt
Sidera lumen

“The stars hidden by dark clouds cannot spread light”.

In the dactylic hexameter , if it has a bucolic diheresis , the end result is an Adoneus, as for example in verse 926 of the twelfth book by Virgil's Aeneis (German by Wilhelm Hertzberg ):

Via medium stridens transit femur. Incidit ictus
—◡◡ | —— | —— | —◡◡ ‖ —◡◡ | ——
With a hissing sound he drives right through the leg. Hin fell hit

German poetry

As in ancient poetry, the Adonian verse was mainly used in German poetry to reproduce the Sapphic stanza. In addition, it was also used in other stanzas and also used engraving by some poets. It also plays a role as a frequently recurring metrical clause in more freely designed poems. In German poetry, the Adonic verse is often indistinguishable from a catalectic dactylic two-pointers; further examples can therefore be found under the entry Dactylus .

Strophic usage

Recreating the Sapphic stanza in German proved difficult; In the Baroque, therefore, the stanza was modified in various ways, among the resulting stanzas was this:

—◡◡ — ◡ | —◡ — ◡ — ◡
—◡◡ — ◡ | —◡ — ◡ — ◡
—◡◡ — ◡ | —◡ — ◡ — ◡
—◡◡ — ◡

The dactyl, which is in the third position in the Sapphic stanza, is brought forward to the first position, after the fifth syllable there is a caesura ; this makes the Adonic verse audible in every verse of the stanza. In the sacred song poetry, for example, this stanza was used by Paul Gerhardt for Praise the Lords all who honor him . The wedding song (1630) by Johannes Plavius ​​found widespread use in secular poetry . The first stanza:

Funny saphho, let the strings sound,
noble muses, start to sing,
lovely nymphs, get ready to jump,
dance and joke.

In later Baroque poems the rhyme scheme aabb was often used for this stanza; in the 19th century it was occasionally designed without rhymes. The third stanza of Ernst Moritz Arndt's Mimerung under German oaks (1846):

A hundred and a thousand, like the sparks of lightning
flies, so birds with hotter wings flew
around my bosom, here and there, fluttering,
mighty burrows.

The Adonic verse is also the final verse in a stanza that is related to this and the Sapphic stanza, but which does not have the Dactyl in the first or third position, but in the second position; see the entry Phalacic verse . The main verse is the Adonic verse in the following stanza:

—◡◡ — ◡
—◡◡ — ◡
—◡◡ — ◡

Three verses Adonische a stanza firmly closing follows choriamb . As an example, the third verse of Martin Greif's beginning of winter :

Oh, and
the sun hardly keeps him away ,
As it was
visible yesterday .

Punctual use

In 1730, Johann Christoph Gottsched , in his attempt at critical poetry, pointed out the possibility of forming German Adonic verses and arranging them in alphabetical order: "They consist of a dactylus and a spondaeus, or instead of the latter, a trochaeus, and sound very lovely in joking matters. " He gives a rhyming (16 verses) and a non-rhyming example (17 verses). A section:

Attracts and attracts
young minds to learn
loving arts,
singing and playing,
poetry and rhymes


  • Ivo Braak : Poetics in a nutshell. 8th edition. Bornträger, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-443-03109-9 , pp. 142f.
  • Dieter Burdorf, Christoph Fasbender, Burkhard Moennighoff (Hrsg.): Metzler Lexicon literature . Terms and definitions. 3rd, completely revised edition. JB Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2007, ISBN 978-3-476-01612-6 .
  • Otto Knörrich: Lexicon of lyrical forms (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 479). Kröner, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-520-47901-X , p. 1.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Johann Christoph Gottsched: Attempt at a critical poetry, Breitkopf, Leipzig 1730, p. 477.