Synopses & Reviews
Anglo–Saxon poetry is esteemed for its subtle artistry and for its wealth of insights into the artistic, social and spiritual preoccupations of the formative first centuries of English literature.
This anthology of prose translations covers most of the poetry surviving in the four major codices and in various other manuscripts. A well–received feature is the grouping by codex to emphasize the great importance of manuscript context in interpreting the poems. The full contents of the Exeter Book are represented, summarized where not translated, to facilitate appreciation of a complete Anglo-Saxon book. The introduction discusses the nature of the legacy, the poet's role, chronology, and especially of translations attempt a style acceptable to the modern ear yet close enough to aid parallel study of the old English text. A check–list of extant Anglo-Saxon poetry enhances the practical usefulness of the volume. The whole thus adds up to a substantial and now widely–cited survey of the Anglo–Saxon poetic achievement.
Part of the "Everyman" series which has been re-set with wide margins for notes and easy-to-read type. Each title includes a themed introduction by leading authorities on the subject, life-and-times chronology of the author, text summaries, annotated reading lists and selected criticism and notes.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Three Early Poems: Caedmon's Hymn, The Ruthwell Cross Inscription; Bede's Death Song. Junius II: Genesis, Exodus, Daniel, Christ and Satan. The Vercelli Book: Andreas; The Fates of the Apostles; The Dream of the Rood; Elene. The Exeter Book: Christ I (The Advent Lyrics); Christ II (The Ascension); Christ III (The Judgement); Guthlac A; Guthlac B; The Phoenix; Juliana; The Wanderer; The Gifts of Men; The Seafarer; Widsith; The Fortunes of Men; Maxims I; Soul and Body II; Deor; Wulf and Eadwacer; Riddles; The Wife's Lament; Resignation; The Descent into Hell; Alms-Giving; Riddle; The Husband's Message; The Ruin. Cotton Vitellius A VX: Beowulf; Judith. Poems from Other Manuscripts: The Battle of Finnsburh; Waldere; Maxims II; The Battle of Brunanburgh; The Battle of Maldon; Judgement Day II; The Benedictine Office (Prime): The Lord's Prayer, The Creed, Fragments of Psalms, The Metrical Charms: For unfruitful land, A journey charm.