• Antiquarianism Underground: The Twentieth-century Alliterative Revival in American Genre Poetry

    Author(s):
    Dennis Wise (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Group(s):
    Speculative and Science Fiction
    Subject(s):
    English literature, Literature, Medieval, Popular culture--Study and teaching, Fantasy literature, Subculture, Fans (Persons), Fantasy
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Alliterative verse, Medieval English literature, Popular culture studies, Contemporary poetry, Fandom, Genre
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/0e40-dq06
    Abstract:
    Although alliterative poetry—a medieval Germanic meter based on similar-sounding initial stressed syllables—first flourished in Old English and Old Norse literature, a resurgence of the meter has appeared within the twentieth century. The most famous modern practitioners have been J. R. R. Tolkien, Ezra Pound, and W. H. Auden, but a wholly neglected subset of the alliterative revival involves American genre poets working in fantasy, horror, and science fiction. After the 1954 publications of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword, alliterative genre poetry began to exist “underground” in fanzines like Amra and within the Society for Creative Anachronism. By and large, a sense of semi-scholarly antiquarianism has inspired these poets. Although this revival of alliterative metrics never reached the same “critical mass” of the fourteenth-century alliterative revival, it nonetheless shows how a non-professional antiquarian interest in medieval literature can foment a niche—yet surprisingly robust—body of genre poetry.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial
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