Germanic verse

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Germanic verse by Mark Kwint

They say that we are unique in the market and they mainly refer to our sound. Less well known are my endeavors to include Germanic verse into my lyrics: the poetic form of our ancestors. I didn’t found any rock/metal lyricist who writes in this poetic form yet.*

In short: These are poetic lines consisting of two half-lines with two stretched syllables each. The first stretched syllable of the second half-line (third stretched syllable of the entire line) alliterates with one or both of the stretched syllables in the first half-line. The last stretched syllable doesn’t alliterate with any of the other stretched syllables in the entire line nor the first one in the next line.

A fragment from our song “Minneschemering” (the alliterating parts are in bold):

Vervloek de vrijer,   vrees mijn toorn!
Aan kwel en kommer   klamp je vast.
Kruip in krochten   van kwijnend licht.
Bij nacht en ontij   oogst je doem.

>> Check out the full lyrics and the song itself at the bottom of this article! <<

Germanic verse was part of the oral tradition, but lost ground because of the increasing influence from Arabic culture and rise of the book. Mythical tales, spells, hymns on kings and so much more, found their expression through alliterative verse in the Germanic world.

We think Germanic verse in our mother tongue sounds very powerful against the background of all those bands who use end-rhyme in their lyrics. So, I thankfully and proudly use Germanic verse in my lyrics, to start with our latest album Heer. But my discovery of this poetic form of old was during the writing process of the album and I already wrote some lyrics with end-rhyme. Some I re-wrote in the form just discovered. In the end this album contains verses from both worlds.

Anyway, I swore myself to write only in Germanic verse from now on. Some new lyrics are done already – very cool. So, keep listening, ’cause Germanic verse is meant to be heard.

on behalf of Alvenrad

* The only things I found were bands quoting per example from the Poetic Edda or Hildebrandslied. Or alliteration on Burzum’s “The Ways of Yore”, but Mr. Vikernes didn’t follow up the rules to make it real Germanic verse.


Lyrics of Minneschemering by Alvenrad