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The regional interactive encyclopedic portal «Bashkortostan»
Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Bashkortostan State autonomous institution of science of the Republic of Bashkortostan Bashkir encyclopedia


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FOLKLORE POESY is a way to organize sound structure of ethnic poetry. Bashkir, Tatar, Chuvash F.p. is based on a syllabic system (the way to organize sound structure of poesy by means of adjusting the length of lines with the amount of syllables). E.g., Bashkir and Tatar syllables are characterized by the symmetrical placement of caesura (rhythmical pause) in the verse line dividing the verse into two couplets. Ancient Bashkir F.p. is a 7­syllable measure, which is used in kubairs. Uzun-kuy uses a 10, 9­syllabic measure, kyska-kuy 8, 7­syllabic, bayts based on a traditional stanza ­ a couplet and popular 7–16­syllabic measures, etc. Tatar ethnic songs are mostly based on 8–7 and 10–9 syllables. G.B. Khusainov names ancient Turkic poetry as the basis of F.p.

Chuvash F.p. syllabics (first its rhythmical structure 4+3) has the same structure as the general Turkic one. A characteristic feature is the vertical (straight­through) caesura, which divides the verse into shorter couplets (syllabic groups). Chuvash ethnic poetry considers the compositional block (stanza) as a crucial con­ stituent of a verse. It appeared as a repetition of magical formulas in the most ancient genres. E.g., spells used in one sphere transformed into spells with simple psychological parallelism, in another sphere they were substituted by the prayers or groomsman’s sayings due to the tradition to perform mythological epics at weddings, which then preserved the oldest type of compositional blocks – ladder blocks. Chuvash songs and poems traditionally have the lowest layers structured as songs: ABCD/ ABCD and ABAB/ABCD. This transitional form in short poems became a common type: AABB/ AABB+AABB/CCDD, and in long poems – ABB/ABB+ABB/CDD. These types of stanzas with different stages are preserved in genres of ceremonial and lyrical songs spread on a par­ ticular territory.

Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian F.p. is based on tonic, syllabic­tonic systems. There is also recitative verse (proverbs, saying, riddles, by­ words, adages etc.), chant verse (historical songs, ballads, spiritual verses, lamentations), song verses (from 4–6 feet trochee and complex variations depending on a chant). Chastushkas and dancing songs have a form of dolnik based on trochee.

F.p. also includes the system of sound text unit repetitions: sounds (alliteration, assonance), syllables (rhyme), words (refrain), syntaxy constructions (parallelism), etc.

Researches, such as L. Vikar, G.I. Komissarov as well as V.G. Rodionov, F.G. Galieva, K.M. Minnullin, I.Y. Karpukhin, etc. note that F.p and musical­poetic regional tradition have inter­ethnic interactions (see Pentatonic). Ac­ cording to Rodionov’s observations, Mari, Udmurt folklore poetics were influenced by Turkic F.p. as a result of genetically aphoristic Oriental poetry and Turkic polysyllabic song form.

V.G. Rodionov, R.Kh. Fatkullina

Publication date: 09.07.2021
Last updated: 31.08.2021