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Old and Middle English

24 Apr

:"The Venerable Bede Translates John"...

Image via Wikipedia

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to rediscover British Literature. By Dec. 31, 2009, I will have read the entire Norton Anthology of British Literature. This is an attempt to document it and motivate myself to keep going.

My journey begins with Old English and Middle English. It’s the obvious starting point, and I know I read it in college, but I remember nothing! What a dope. I will remember it this time!

So, on Day 1, Feb. 1, this is what I learned:

I read about the Venerable Bede and his writings on Caedmon, the sheep herder who discovered the gift of song and poetry in his sleep. I read the Dream of the Rood, which was an interesting way to look at the cross. The author personified the cross and its feelings about being struck with the “open gashes of hatred,” and yet how it “dared not bow to earth.”

Next up: Beowulf!

Editor’s Note: This was originally published Feb. 1, 2009. Reading the entire Norton Anthology in 2009 DID NOT happen. It was a great goal, but a little too lofty. I still want to go through it, though, just not with such a strict time limit.

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