name for a verse
form characterized by alliteration
. This metre
is familiar outside the region from the Kalevala
, the Finnish national epic, and from the use Longfellow made of it in The Song of Hiawatha
. Finland and Estonia
share quite similar languages and traditional cultures.
In regilaul and Kalevala-metre the same idea is repeated in several lines, with the words varied so that different alliterations are used. The meanings can vary a fair bit from exact synonyms, because between them they weave a field of association around the meaning. An example is
Kus on orja odrapõldu,
tüdruku linade põldu,
Where's the beggar's barley field
the orphan's oat field
the filly's flax field
the cripple's cornfield?
The plural of regilaul is regilaulud.