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Poetry Writing Assignment #3/Alliterative

In prosody, alliterative verse is a form of verse that uses alliteration as the principal
structuring device to unify lines of poetry, as opposed to other devices such as rhyme.

The most intensively studied traditions of alliterative verse are those found in the oldest
literature of many Germanic languages. Alliterative verse, in various forms, is found
widely in the literary traditions of the early Germanic languages. The Old English epic
Beowulf, as well as most other Old English poetry, the Old High German Muspilli, the
Old Saxon Heliand, and the Old Norse Poetic Edda all use alliterative verse.

Alliterative verse can be found in many other languages as well, although rarely with the
systematic rigor of Germanic forms. The Finnish Kalevala and the Estonian Kalevipoeg
both use alliterative forms derived from folk tradition. Traditional Turkic verse, for
example that of the Uyghur, is also alliterative.

Assignment: Write 5 alliterative poems. Use the examples below (or don’t).
Due Thursday, April 22.

Twitching tufted tail,


A toasty tawny tummy,
A tired tiger. (Bill Watterson)

With winding horns winter hunted


in the weeping woods, wild and ruthless;
sleet came slashing and slanting hail
from glowering heaven grey and sunless,
whistling whiplash whirled by tempest.
The floods were freed, and fallow waters
sweeping seaward, swollen, angry,
filled with flotsam, foaming, turbid,
passed in tumult. The tempest died. (J.R.R. Tolkein)