Asked • 03/18/19

Correct way of reading The Nibelungenlied?

I'm trying to read "The Nibelungenlied" in metrical English translation by George Henry Needler (). However, I've got certain difficulties with doing this.The translator explicitly notes in the preface that the strophes of the poem have this structure: three regular lines with two half-lines each with three accented syllables and a caesura in the middle, then fourth line with three and four accented syllables in each half respectevily, so that the last line of strophe is lengthened.I was unable to read it aloud keeping the rhythm, because after reading three regular lines, fourth isn't getting into my mind no matter how I try. For example, take the first strophe: To us in olden story / are wonders many told Of heroes rich in glory, / of trials manifold: Of joy and festive greeting, / of weeping and of woe, Of keenest warriors meeting, / shall ye now many a wonder know.So, my first question is: how are the accents placed in the last half line (`shall ye now many a wonder know`, for example)?Moreover, the poem has many "strange" rhymes, that do not sound rhyming at all, like "`die` — `misery`" (strophe 70) and "`war` — `afar`" (strophe 83). Can someone give me pointers on how to interpret them? Maybe I should look for pronunciation of the corresponding word in Middle English (the author is trying to make the language look archaic)?

1 Expert Answer


Still looking for help? Get the right answer, fast.

Ask a question for free

Get a free answer to a quick problem.
Most questions answered within 4 hours.


Find an Online Tutor Now

Choose an expert and meet online. No packages or subscriptions, pay only for the time you need.