It's been a while since I had an opportunity to workshop any of my writing, and this semester (and the next several) I'm going to be able to workshop my translations. Yes.

And what better way to dive back in than to take one of the most slippery and difficult poems in Old English and do about twenty translations or so and see what kinds of neat things come up in the process. As of tonight, I've got three down (including one which is literally a complete copy of the poem in original word order in as close to manuscript layout and punctuation as possible just updating the spellings for modernity and nothing else - that was hard because I had to figure out exactly what archaic and extinct words some of them actually became after the Conquest).


I'm having oodles of fun, though. My workshop date isn't until February 12, which means I have a couple weeks to get through them.

For your pleasure, here's a picture of the manuscript page. It's the one in the middle that concludes the first page and begins the second.

And my transcription:

Leodum is minum swylce him mon lac gife willað hy hi
ne aþecgan gifhe onþreat cymeð ungelic is us ᛫ wulf
is on iege icon oþerre fæst is þæt eglond fenne bi
worpen sindon wæl reowe weras þær on ige wylað hy
hine aþecgan gifhe onþreat cymeðungelice is us
wulfes ic mines wid lastum wenum dogode þōn hit wæs
renig weder ⁊ic reo tugu sæt ᛫ þōn mec se beadu cafa
bogum bilegde wæs me wyn toþon wæs me hwæþre eac
lað ᛫ wulfmin wulf wena me þine seoce gedydon þine
seld cymas murnende mod nales mete liste gehyrestþu
ead wacer uncerne earne hwelp bireð wulf towuda ðæt
mon eaþe tosliteð þætte næfre gesomnad wæs uncer giedd
geador ᛫


And, so we can maybe make a fun activity out of this because why the hell not, one of my former professors likes to do an activity where he presents a poem to his students in a language they don't know - like German or Italian. He has them just take their absolute best shot at translating it without knowing the words - usually combining their own sense of poetics with sound impressions and picking up on the very few words they maybe can identify.

Anyone feel like trying that? It'll be a good time.

I'm just so fucking excited about this semester.