Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþeowes

July 9, 2007

The jamboree was great fun on Saturday, though we didn’t stay too long. It started getting warm and the littlest ones were starting to get uncomfortable in the heat. We drove through some new stretches of back roads and saw some beautiful scenery. A long sunshower blew through in the evening and the kids spent their time running around in the rain and splashing in the driveway puddles.

Spent most of Sunday just laying around – some sort of cold or allergy is taking hold in a few of us, and it made Friday’s bike ride a little rougher than usual. This morning’s was fine, though: I finished in a decent time, saw nine deer, and as of this moment, do not feel like doodoo.

The latest issue of Touchstone features an article on Beowulf, so I spent most of the weekend alternately dozing and sifting through the word-hoard, whale-road and givers of rings. If I had time enough and the world, I could very well see myself submerging myself in Anglo-Saxon. Fascinating stuff – I’m reading a side-by-side translation, and it’s great fun bouncing back and forth between the modern and old English. You have to be careful with false cognates, but the older language is tantalizingly close in several places, even allowing for some of the modest liberties taken by the translator. For bedtime reading, we’ve started The Swiss Family Robinson. We’re only about 4 chapters in but the kids seem to be thoroughly enjoying it. Pancho, in particular, has had many questions about the particulars of their various contraptions. For her part, Bluebell would not rest until we had looked up the agouti.

We fell asleep during Knockabout, so take that for what it’s worth. Several times the subtitles went out of sync with the action and then just stopped altogether. Oh well.

And now it’s back to the office. My folks are going to be swinging through town on their way back home after visiting my brother and his family, so I may duck out for the latter part of the week. We’ll see.

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4 Responses to “Beowulf maþelode, bearn Ecgþeowes”

  1. Joseph Says:

    I so enjoy reading your blog. It is such an expression of joy in the simplicty of a beautiful life. Well done!

    BTW, if you get the chance, listen to Seamus Heanley’s translation of Beowulf on audio book. He reads his own work, and it is excellent. I highly reccommend it.

  2. fosco Says:

    Again, thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoy it. Don’t get the wrong impression, though – I never write down the stuff that confounds and consternates.

  3. Marjorie Says:

    I second the recommendation to listen to Seanmus Heanly’s audio book of Beowulf. I LOVED the language. Beowulf was truly meant to be heard. Enchanting. If you like Tolkien you can’t help but embrace Beowulf, don’t you think?

  4. fosco Says:

    I do think so. You can’t ignore the Kalevala (the great Finnish epic) which was apparently a very strong influence on Tolkien as well. I’ve only gone through it once as it’s quite long, but will probably revisit it again next year some time.


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