Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ship's sliding and wave-walker quotes from Beowulf

Beowulf and Other Old English Poems

I finally was able to find a relaxing moment last night to dig into this book. Wow! It has so much more in it than I previously thought. There is a large beginning portion that dives into the culture and lives of the Anglo-Saxon and also in depth article about translating Beowulf and how they pronounced certain letters and such in their language. I am intrigued with these sections and hope to read them soon. But for last night, I couldn't hold back starting in on Beowulf, and here are some beautiful quotes I almost immediately stumbled upon:

"... His men set up
A bright banner to proclaim his coming,
Then let long waves take their treasure-
No sound but the ship's sliding into water
And the heart's keening ..."

This quote was about their king being placed in a ship and sailed out onto the waters after his death. I know this is a translation of an original that is hard to be exact and still turn out poetically beautiful, but man these words are wonderful!

"... He ordered his ship built,
A great wave-walker, and said he would seek
Over the long sea, the swan's road,
The well-known king needing brave new men."

Umm. Wow. Wave-walker? Swan's road? Can you even find other words to describe the ship and the sea anymore intriguingly? I'm already loving this book so much. It is slowly creeping up my list of favorites. 

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