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On Biblical Poetry$
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F.W. Dobbs-Allsopp

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199766901

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766901.001.0001

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“Verse, Properly So Called”

“Verse, Properly So Called”

The Line in Biblical Poetry

(p.14) 1 “Verse, Properly So Called”
On Biblical Poetry

F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp

Oxford University Press

The chapter focalizes the issue of the poetic line in biblical poetry. In particular, attention is dedicated, one, to issues of discernment—what are the kinds of evidences that positively show the existence and importance of the line in biblical Hebrew verse—and, two, to scrutiny of the nature and character of the line so revealed—in what does this line consist. Some initial observations are offered on how the line factors prosodically in a poem’s various structures of meaning, and the topic of line grouping also comes in for discussion, both as a means for triangulating on the line as a structural singularity and because biblical poetry is dominantly distichic, its lines come mostly grouped in pairs, as couplets, with the triplet (a gathering of three poetic lines) otherwise being the most common complementing alternative grouping scheme attested in the biblical corpus.

Keywords:   line, biblical poetry, couplet, triplet, grouping

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