Accentuating verse principle

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The accentuating or silbenwägende Versprinzip 's metric a Versprinzip that the structural regularity of the metrical due to the accent determined, that by the regular alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables . It is the determining principle of verse in modern German poetry.

The basis is the (natural) word accent, whereby this and the verse accent determined by the meter should in principle coincide. Since the Baroque period, however, a tension resulting from deviations and opposites between natural and metrical accents has been viewed as desirable, and in modern European poetry it is an essential element of the aesthetic appeal of a poem. Too precise a match between the natural accent and the meter seems drab and boring. As Heinrich Heine writes in a letter to Immermann , it is undesirable "that the words and the feet of the verse always collapse, which is always unbearable in the case of four-footed troches, namely if the meter is not supposed to parody itself". By “folding up”, Heine means here in particular that every word corresponds to a verse (“Bake, bake cake ...”).

But this view has not always prevailed. Up until Opitz's time, especially in hymns and Meistersang, metric emphasis was given priority over natural emphasis, which led to frequent pitch bends . Opitz now demanded that the metric accent (fall) and natural accent (language case) should match and that deviations should be considered a rule violation. This demand was eventually softened and certain discrepancies and tensions as a floating emphasis became one of the most important lyric means.

Other verse principles are the quantifying principle and the syllable counting principle .


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Letter to Immermann, February 3, 1830, in connection with Heine's proposed changes to Immermann's little tulip coat .