Heffernan, Thomas J. Sacred Biography: Saints and Their Biographers in the Middle Ages. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
HALF-LINE Literally a half-line of poetry, in Anglo-Saxon poetry the half-line is the normal metrical unit, with two half-lines that alliterate forming a complete alliterative line. These half-lines are separated by a caesura (pause), often represented by a blank space. Each half-line has at least four syllables, but the pattern of stress and alliteration vary, depending on the length of the syllable, phonetic stress, and the number of syllables. Each half-line also has two stressed syllables, and those syllables alliterate. In the most common pattern found in old English, two alliterating words in the first half-line link with one in the second.
The poems of the 14th-century alliterative revival, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, follow this same basic pattern: Each alliterative line contains two half-lines, wherein at least one stressed syllable in the first half alliterates with one or two syllables in the other half-line.
Was this article helpful?
Tap into your inner power today. Discover The Untold Secrets Used By Experts To Tap Into The Power Of Your Inner Personality Help You Unleash Your Full Potential. Finally You Can Fully Equip Yourself With These “Must Have” Personality Finding Tools For Creating Your Ideal Lifestyle.