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Gasparov 54 (T4, religious odes and hymns)

March 13, 2010

Religious odes and hymns existed as a genre in the eighteenth century and ceased to in the nineteenth, but, much as with the other three lines of trochaic tetrameter poetry, Gasparov argues that they live on in the serious themes of certain nineteenth-century poems in that meter.  In addition to the eighteenth-century Russian tradition, German lyric poetry in trochees influences and supports this nineteenth-century variety.

The “seriousness” of the nineteenth-century poems is qualitatively different from that of the earlier religious odes, however.  Instead of solemnity there is an “anxious confusion of seeking thought” (I quite like Gasparov’s phrase “тревожная смутность ищущей мысли,” and doubt I have done it justice).

This is the last of a series of posts on section 54 of Gasparov’s Очерк истории русского стиха, 2nd ed. (Moscow, 2002), which discusses the evolution of trochaic tetrameter in Russian poetry in the early nineteenth century.  Posts on other sections may follow, as I find it quite useful to be able to go back to part of his argument and see the text of his examples.


«Стихи, сочиненные ночью во время бессонницы» (1830)
«Дар напрасный, дар случайный…» (1828)
«Предчувствие» («Снова тучи надо мною…») (1828)
«Бесы» (1830)
«Зимний вечер» (1825)

«Зимняя дорогу» (1826)

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