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The Syriac Poetry

Syriac poetry has been written to implement the religious teachings in the mind of the people and reduce the formality of the rites. St. Ephraim "Harp of the Holy Spirit," was the most famous poet of the church and his followers became many.

Syriac poetry has two forms: The poems and songs. Poems have three major forms: the seven-syllables, or the Ephraimian according to St. Ephraim, the twelve-syllables, or the Serogian according to St. Jacob of Seroug the bishop of Batnan Seroug and the five-syllables, or the Balayen according to St. Balay the bishop of Balesh.

Bardaysan founded the second form of poetry which is called “Madroshe” or the teaching songs. This form used to communicate the orthodox faith of the church to a wide audience. St. Ephraim used the same form of poetry to acclaim the teachings of Bardaysan. Madroshé was founded on the four syllable form and later was developed until it reached the ten syllables. Madroshé tuned in about seventy five types of melodies which S:t Ephraim maid.

Another type of Madroshé is the “Sogito” or the dialog. Sogitho is a dialog written on the seven syllable form of poetry. The most famous Sogithos are the dialog between the Virgin Mary and Gabriel the angel, Sogitho of Mary and the wise men, sogitho of Abraham and his sacrifice and sogitho of Abel and Cain.

Syriac poetic forms were adopted and used of the Greek and Latin Christian traditions. Many of St. Ephrem´s poetic works were translated into Greek and then to many other languages.

At the beginning of the ninth century the Syriac poets entered the rhyme to the poetry similar to Arabic poetry which they learned. From that period of time and later on we find poems written with one rhyme used in every two or four verses.

St. Rabbula, Shemoun Quqoyo (the potter), Patriarch St. Severus the great and St. Jakoub of Edessa are some of the famous poets of the Church. They founded another forms of poetry than the above mentioned. The poets of the Syriac Orthodox church produced volumes of poetry that became the basis of a wide liturgical music tradition in our Church. They created rich genres of music that survive to this day in Syriac Orthodox liturgical music.

Beroulé Bdiré. H.H. Mor Eghnatious Epraim I

By: Infomaster

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