Sapphic Stanza

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Sapphic Stanza

 

one of the most widely used strophes of classical prosody. The sapphic stanza appears in the works of the Greek poet Sappho. It was established as a form in Latin poetry by Horace. A sapphic stanza consists of three 11-syllable sapphic verses (—U—Ū—U U—U—Ū), followed by a five-syllable adonic verse (—U U—Ū). The following stanza by N. A. Radishchev is an example of a tonic rendering of a sapphic stanza:

Ty klialásia vérnoiu byt’ vovéki,
Mne bogíniu nóshchi dalá porúkoi;
Séver khládnyi dúnul odín raz krépche—
Schást’e ischézlo.

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Adding insult to injury is the disjunction or incongruity suggested by the Sapphic metre of the poem, commenting implicitly on flawed rather than satisfying human relationships.
8, where Horace as a bachelor celebrates the Matronalia--a feast held exclusively for married women--is underlined by the Sapphic metre of the poem.