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Alliterative Meter

Alliterative Meter (also called Anglo-Saxon meter, Old English meter, strong-stress meter)

4 stresses/line with a caesura (pause) in the middle where 3 of the 4 stresses are usually alliterated.

Alliteration usually occurs across the caesura (on stresses 2&3) linking one hemistich (half of the group of 4 stresses) to the next.

Alliteration here can include consonants and/or vowels.

Often uses Parallelism and Kennings – figurative expressions used repetitively such as “whale road” instead of sea or “earth shaker” instead of Poseidon.

Conveys physical force and/or fighting in a powerful and memorable manner.