Read The Old English Poems of Cynewulf by Cynewulf Robert E.Bjork Online

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The Old English poems attributed to Cynewulf, who flourished some time between the eighth and tenth centuries, are unusual because most vernacular poems in this period are anonymous. Other than the name, we have no biographical details of Cynewulf, not even the most basic facts of where or when he lived. Yet the poems themselves attest to a powerfully inventive imaginationThe Old English poems attributed to Cynewulf, who flourished some time between the eighth and tenth centuries, are unusual because most vernacular poems in this period are anonymous. Other than the name, we have no biographical details of Cynewulf, not even the most basic facts of where or when he lived. Yet the poems themselves attest to a powerfully inventive imagination, deeply learned in Christian doctrine and traditional verse-craft.Runic letters spelling out the name Cynewulf appear in four poems: Christ II (or The Ascension), Juliana, The Fates of the Apostles, and Elene. To these a fifth can be added, Guthlac B because of similarities in style and vocabulary, but any signature (if one ever existed) has been lost because its ending lines are missing. What characterizes Cynewulf's poetry? He reveals an expert control of structure as shown from the changes he makes to his Latin sources. He has a flair for extended similes and dramatic dialogue. In Christ II, for example, the major events in Christ's life are portrayed as vigorous leaps. In Juliana the force of the saint's rhetoric utterly confounds a demon sent to torment her....

Title : The Old English Poems of Cynewulf
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ISBN : 9780674072633
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Old English Poems of Cynewulf Reviews

  • c
    2019-05-14 12:30

    I think some elements of Bjork's translation bother me but that's the stuff of translation I guess; that is, to render clarity where the text is perhaps purposely ambiguous. And I've heard how adverse the Dumbarton Oaks editions are to footnotes, and even to endnotes, so perhaps this is unavoidable and I'm being picky. I do wonder how helpful the translations can be to your more lay reader when Cynewulf's tune signature is preserved in the translation without any attempt to render meaning to them.

  • Neil
    2019-05-17 10:18

    Cynewulf was an Anglo Saxon poet who was thought to have been active between the eighth and tenth century and is one of the few English poets from the period that is know by name, mainly due to him signing the poems that are ascribed to him with a runic signature. Over the years many poems have been ascribed to Cynewulf, but modern scholars now think that there's only four poems that can safely be said to be by Cynewulf. This new edition of Cynewulf's poems contains the Old English texts alongside a Modern English translation of The Fates of the Apostles, Juliana, Elene, and Christ II, along with an introduction and notes by Robert Bjork."Eala Earendel engla beorhtastOfer middangeard monnum sended"