Antropologicheskij forum, 2021, no. 49



Alexander Petrov

Institute of Linguistics, Literature and History of the Karelian Research Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences
11 Pushkinskaya Str., Petrozavodsk, Russia

Abstract: The article considers the problem of the development of metrical forms of the cycle of folklore spiritual verses about Tsarevich Joasaph. Spiritual verses related to the literary tradition are used as supplementary material. The aim of the research is to trace the evolution of the metrics of folklore spiritual verses about Tsarevich Joasaph in the context of the history of Russian versification. The tasks of the research are the formation of a database of texts, differentiation of the texts into thematic groups, selection of method of work, and the analysis of folk and literary variants. The research methodology is determined by its complex nature, being at the intersection of folklore, linguistics, and literary studies. Taking into account the heterogeneity of the material, special methods are used for texts created within the framework of different systems of versification: syllabic, accentual, and syllabic-accentual. The entire corpus of texts consists of seven types of plots and can be divided into metrical groups depending on the time and the environment of their creation. The earliest known text dates from the 16th century; it is a free, non-rhymed accentual verse. A significant corpus of texts was created in the 17th century, in line with the literary syllabic system of versification; these are spiritual verses with 8 or 13 syllables per line. Some of these were assimilated by folk culture and subsequently lost their syllabic equality of lines, becoming close to the accentual system. Literary texts of the 18th–19th centuries are closer to the syllabic-accentual system; sometimes they include polymetric poetic forms. Folklore texts collected in the 19th–20th centuries are based mainly on the accentual system of versification (dolnik, taktovik, accentual verse); however, as we move towards the 20th century, syllabic-accentual tendencies also intensify in this area. In the 20th century, the tradition of spiritual poetry was based on syllabic-accentual models borrowed from the works of Russian classics. The long history of the existence of this poetic cycle is, in general, in line with the evolution of Russian versification. At the same time, if the syllabic-accentual verse has been formed since the 18th century in the literary tradition of spiritual poetry, then in folklore it spread relatively late. Reliable examples of syllabic-accentual versification are found in folklore spiritual verses about Tsarevich Joasaph from the second half of the 19th century.

Keywords: spiritual verses, Tsarevich Joasaph, verse study, folk verse, metrics.

Acknowledgments: The paper was written as part of the state task assigned to the Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

To cite: Petrov A., ‘Dukhovnye stikhi o tsareviche Ioasafe: sostav syuzhetov i metricheskie modeli’ [Spiritual Verses about Tsarevich Joasaph: Plots and Metrical Models], Antropologicheskij forum, 2021, no. 49, pp. 88–131.

doi: 10.31250/1815-8870-2021-17-49-88-131