Since I got started on the “Wanderer” I thought I’d keep going on a few others, so there are new translations of “Wulf and Eadwacer,” “The Wife’s Lament,” and “The Order of the World.” All three are poems with some uncertainty about what exactly they might mean, a confusion brought on I think by stodgy assumptions about how the verse must sound. Why this is a problem is that when one defines (or pre-defines) a poetic culture, anything that does not conform to those ideas & assumptions will seem baffling & definitely marginal. With such a small corpus who’s to say what poetic utterances belonged? And definitely who’s to say what ideas were out-of-bounds.
Let’s run down where these three poems fit into this scheme of marginaization and what I am trying to do with their reconsideration. Those will follow in a few posts..