Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE ( (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 February 2021

macaronic verse

The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

Chris Baldick

macaronic verse 

Poetry in which two or more languages are mixed together. Strictly, the term denotes a kind of comic verse in which words from a vernacular language are introduced into Latin (or other foreign-language) verses and given Latin inflections; such verse had a vogue among students in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, but is rare in English. More loosely, the term is applied to any verses in which phrases or lines in a foreign language are frequently introduced: several medieval English poems have Latin refrains or alternating Latin and English lines, and in modern times the poems of Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot have been called macaronic for their use of lines in several languages. Noun: macaronism.