Saturday, August 25, 2007

Psalm 19 prosody

How do you love me - can I count the ways?

I have to confess, I am not as convinced by counting as by inner structures. And I had some difficulty applying the general rule. But I have given it a detailed try here. I find it difficult to think in the full structure and the line lengths are often quite varied. Were these to underlie a performance feature, then I think I would be convinced.

Psalm 19: [link is full size] 2 Sections; 4 stanzas [2 each] ;

section 1: stanzas 1-2 verses 2-7
stanza 1 - 3 strophes
6 lines with verset counts [2/2, 2/2], [2/2, 2/2], [2/2/3, 2/2/3],

stanza 2 - 2 strophes
4 lines [2/2,2/3],[3/2,3/3] - this makes a very long line.

section 2: stanza 3 - 3 strophes
9 lines [3/2,3/2,3/2], [3/2, 3/2,3/2], [2/2,2/2, 3/3]

stanza 4 - 2 strophes
5 lines [3/3,2/2,2/2/3],[2/2/2,2/2]

(The colors are over the top - I can eliminate them all with a keystroke but I am sort of fond of my little suns and sunspots.)


John said...

I like the multi-colored dreamcoat!

Still, I think of ways to bring out the dynamics of parallelism better.

For example, in the four lines of vv. 8-9 this structure is repeated:


Verse 10 is not much different.

It would be nice to color all the a's, b's, and so forth with the same color.

The prosodic hierarchy might also be evidenced better (hierarchy, my point would be, is to be respected before challenged). Have you seen Fokkelman's formatting of this psalm in his The Psalms in Form?

Like me, he sees to fit the break up the text into smaller units (which I call versets), though not as often as I do.

Bob MacDonald said...

John - it occurs to me also that the two halves are very nearly in parallel with each other - I wonder if there is a widowed line at the end of the first half also. I may be assited by mappeqs which at present I have tended to ignore. I will have a look for Fokkelman here at UofO to see what I can find. I am also considering what kind of compact prosodic frame could be directly supported in a typing interface rather than a graphic one.