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Iambic decapentasyllabic verse (or Political verse)


Iambic decapentasyllabic verse (or Political verse)  

(Iambic) Decapentasyllabic verse (15-syllable per line verse) (Byzantine form).

The sorceress
(by G. Venetopoulos)

The fog's requests accosted us above the ocean vastness
and scattered stars defined afar the tempest's resurrection;
our cargo's diesel engines thrummed as she immersed in darkness
maneuvering the fields invited us to wrong direction.

Half-visible the skylines danced with mist that spread abundant
the Sorceress spelled out upon our travel to Atlantic
expanding borderlines beyond, where waves were moving rampant
- the sylphlike wafting of the sea, engulfed our first mechanic.

Hence, she declared, among the mists, her oracle and candor;
presumptuous she coquetted on Hades' shadowed orchard,
as chthonic forms misguided us to deluged reefs, asunder,
beguiling sailors to conduct in ghostly seas, unconquered.

Tangential the cloaks of night became our route's incisors;
bewitched by the falling fog and sorcery bespoken
we heard the Siren's singing calls, ambiguous advisers
as waves embraced our steadfast bow that led to death unbroken
© 2015-01-08, 2014-05-03, G. Venetopoulos, All Rights Reserved

The article on Wikipedia:

Political verse, also known as Decapentasyllabic verse (from Greek dekapentasyllabos, lit. '15-syllable'), is a common metric form in Medieval and Modern Greek poetry. It is an iambic verse of fifteen syllables and has been the main meter of traditional popular and folk poetry since the Byzantine period. The name is unrelated to the concept of "politics" and does not imply political content of a poem; rather, it derives from the original meaning of the Greek word 'politicos' 'civil' or 'civic', meaning that it was originally a form used for secular, non-religious, even profane poetry. It is also called ("like-a-chariot-on-a-paved-road" verses, because the words “flow” freely like a running chariot).

Each verse is a 15-syllable iambic verse, normally (and in accordance with the ancient Greek poetical tradition) the Political verse is without rhyme. So it is a type of blank verse of iambic heptameter. The meter consists of lines made from seven (“hepta”) feet plus an unstressed syllable. There is a standard cesura (pause in the reading of a line of a verse that does not affect the metrical account of the timing) after the eighth syllable. Rhyme occurs only rarely, especially in the earlier folk songs and poems. Later examples, especially in personal poetry and in songwriting there is rhyme. In those cases the rhyme scheme is more commonly that of the couplet: aa, or, aa/bb/cc/dd etc.; sometimes the rhyme may appear at the end of the cesura and that of the stanza, or in two successive cesurae. Generally speaking though, rhyme is used quite sparingly, either to make a dramatic point or for comic effect.

Each fifteen-syllable verse can be regarded or examined as a "distich" of two verses, one eight-syllable and one seven-syllable. Its form looks as follows:

U - | U - | U - | U - || U - |U - | U - | U

Until the 14th century, the half-foot could begin with two anapests instead of three iambs (Kambylis, A. 1995. Textkritik und Metrik: ?berlegungen zu ihrem Verh?ltnis zueinander. Byzantinische Zeitschrift 88: 38–67):

U U - | U U - | U - || U - |U - | U - | U

U - | U - | U - | U - || U U - | U U - | U

To this day, each half-foot can also begin with a trochee; this is called choriambic, by comparison to its ancient metrical counterpart.

- U | U - | U - | U - || U - |U - | U - | U

- U | U - | U - | U - || - U |U - | U - | U

(excerpt taken from )