The versification of the Romansh poet Andri Peer: the heptasyllable and hendecasyllable in his early free forms

  • Renzo Caduff University of Geneva, Unité de rhétoromanche, Rue St-Ours 5, CH-1205 Geneva
Keywords: heptasyllabic and hendecasyllabic verse, versification style, versi ombra, Romansh poetry


This paper examines the versification style of the Romansh poet Andri Peer, who can be considered as the first “modern” poet of the Romansh literature. It focuses on Andri Peer’s most frequently used verse lines in his early free forms: the heptasyllabic and hendecasyllabic verse. A rhythmical analysis of the single verse instances revealed that the internal organisation of the line is not very elaborate. In the case of the heptasyllables found in his early free forms, only four patterns make up over 80% of all heptasyllabic verses. Regarding Peer’s hendecasyllables, it is shown that his arrangement of the prominent syllables is rather regular, especially in comparison to the hendecasyllables of his precursor Peider Lansel. This trend in Peer’s versification to use fixed dispositions of syllables is interpreted as a compensation for the loss of other structural features such as the stanza or the rhyme.


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