So just a minor update made recently: “Resignation” is now “Resignation A & B” and I added the split in that poem that scholars have posited since the ASPR was released. I also observed that Muir breaks the very-short “Partridge” into two pieces, the bulk of it tagged “Homiletic Fragment III.” I’ll consider the case … Continue reading Updates

Riddles rationale

Now that I’m about 62 poems in to my revision process of the Exeter Book Riddles, I thought I should finally come out with the rationale behind this translation of these poems, so important to the extant canon and so commonly read and appreciated. One of the big issues I have with Old English poetry … Continue reading Riddles rationale

“Wyrd bið ful aræd” (The Wanderer, line 5b)

To check the commentary volume of Bernard J. Muir’s magisterial The Exeter Anthology of Old English Poetry: An Edition of Exeter Dean and Chapter MS 3501 (1994) one might be forgiven for concluding that the primary issue with this gnomic, gnarled half-line is a matter of grammar: “Mitchell-Robinson (p. 271) translates, ‘Fate is wholly inexorable’.” … Continue reading “Wyrd bið ful aræd” (The Wanderer, line 5b)

More Riddles revised

Did just a few more Riddles tonight — #60-65. #60 (“Reed Pen”) is interesting because it sits in a group of just riddles (following a slightly different version of #30 (“Wood”), not translated here), but also because it is considered by some to be categorizable with the so-called “Elegies.” Following Kathleen Davis’s chapter in the … Continue reading More Riddles revised

First batch of Riddles revised!

The first batch of riddles in the Exeter Book, one through fifty-nine, have been fully revised. Not too many changes made this time, but just a few that I think make them read better. One big mistake I corrected: in the “Body and Soul” riddle (#43), I misrecognized “agan” for the preterite-present verb meaning “to … Continue reading First batch of Riddles revised!

Riddle revisions to #38

Just a bit more work done on revising the Riddles, so I’ve gotten up to #38. That means the next two are the big Nature-Creation-World riddles which are so interesting but not often put forward as the best examples of the Riddles, though they are both definitely written as riddles (unlike say, #1-3 (Storm) or, … Continue reading Riddle revisions to #38