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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A rhythmic emblem for the mutation from early experience to later is encoded in the formal means Hacker adopts: the first part of the poem is lineated without regular meter, and the second part is cast in expert sapphic stanzas. Youthful improvisation bows to maturity and carefully gauged meter.
In sonnets, villanelles, sestinas, canzones, pantoums, ballades and, latterly, Sapphic stanzas, she writes of contemporary scenes.
In his first published collection, 17 dikter (1954; "Seventeen Poems"), Transtromer displayed a bold, Surrealistic use of metaphor while also experimenting with free and blank verse and sapphic stanzas. The poetry in Hemligheter pa vagen (1958; "Secrets on the Way") and Klanger och spar (1966; Echoes and Traces) is composed in a more personal style, with plainer diction and exceptionally strong rhythmic qualities evident in his free verse.