Oral-Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry

  title={Oral-Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry},
  author={F. Magoun},
  pages={446 - 467}
IN the course of the last quarter-century much has been discovered about the techniques employed by unlettered singers in their composition of narrative verse. Whereas a lettered poet of any time or place, composing (as he does and must) with the aid of writing materials and with deliberation, creates his own language as he proceeds, the unlettered singer, ordinarily composing rapidly and extempore before a live audience, must and does call upon ready-made language, upon a vast reservoir of… Expand
141 Citations


2402 (dracan), 2744 (hord). 523a Cp. Chr 1071 e6e and edgeong. 523b Gen 1840; XSt 116, 278. Cp. Chr 1233 swa hie geworhton &r
  • Bwf
298 afiellel hine on foldan. 53lb Cp. Gen 2441 1a to fotum
    520a Chr 880
    • Aza
    7 bA' aselelingas. Cp. without def. art. but with a preceding word, usually of light stress Gen 1059 bA6ra-be ael6elingas
      Bwf 1588 hraw wide sprang
        Bwf 897 Weelses eafora; 1847 Hreles eaforan; Gen 1133 S6thes eafora, 2054 pares eafora
          Chr 241 for-lon n'is xenig Poes horsc; GfM 8 Ne bil xenig Poes / earfoP-sxilig
            Chr 27 hwanne is Lif-frea. 17a Bwf 183, 1752; Dan 14; And 193, 539. 18a Sol 182 Saloman woes bremra; Dan 104 pa woes breme
              Ebreisce ae leornodon / b' on fyrn-dagum feederas c`iSon (Ele 397-98). lb XSt 367, Wan 44. Cp. Chr 251 be on gear-dagum
                Edw 34 baes-be bearf woes / baes beod-cyninges. 2b See 1-2 above for combination of formulas to express the idea of 'having heard or learned long ago