Publication of Old Javanese Metres

I have just finished work on a new prosody work, this time concerning Old Javanese poetry, which was in use in Java between the 9th and 16th centuries.

The works concerned are mainly based on old Indian stories from the Hindu tradition, including Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata, the story of Kṣṇa and Arjuna, etc.

Although at base Old Javanese is an Austronesian language, the metres are based solidly on Sanskrit prosody, and utilises the same alternation of light and heavy syllables to create rhythms.

The work gives the names of the metres (sometimes more than one name), the form of the metre, then a list of the works in which that particular metre is found.

It is mainly a recompilation of P. J. Zoetmulder’s Appendix III on Kakawin Metres to his Kalangwan, A Survey of Old Javanese Literature, but with many changes for clarity.

I hope this work will give an insight into a little known area of prosody, which is closely related to the Pāḷi and Sanskrit prosodic works on my Ancient Buddhist Texts website.

 

 




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