[b-hebrew] Length of Poetic Lines

FPutnam at biblical.edu FPutnam at biblical.edu
Thu Jun 24 16:47:47 EDT 2004

Hi, Vince.

In general, I read a line of biblical poetry per clause : topic + comment 
(which may include modifiers).

Artificial? Yes, indeed, but it encourages consistency of analysis, though 
not of line length. I have generally found that this approach often points 
up line length as one of the "boundary functions" in biblical poetry. I 
have not yet figured out what to do with consecutive asyndetic [i.e., 
paratactic] verbs, which could be identified as "clauses" (and therefore 
separate lines, given my rubric), but they are not extremely common.

Best wishes.


Frederic Clarke Putnam, Ph.D.
Professor of Old Testament
Biblical Theological Seminary
Hatfield, Pennsylvania

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