Anonymous: The Riming Poem

(498 words)
  • Susanne Kries

The Riming Poem, which is thought to have been composed in the early tenth century, is regarded as one of the more obscure poems in Old English literature. Its eighty-seven lines are included in the Exeter Book, one of the four key manuscripts that contain Old English poetry. The title “Riming Poem” reveals early – and still dominating – scholarly interest in the metrical form at the expense of the poem's contents. The text is unusual in that it is the only example in Old English literature that uses end-rhyme throughout, as well as the then much more common alliterative rhyme. Occasionally internal rhyme is used as well and there are also groups of two or more long lines rhyming.

The poem's highly …

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Kries, Susanne. "The Riming Poem". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 February 2003
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]