March 20, 2010 8:10 PM   Subscribe

Anglo-Saxon Aloud: Daily readings (and podcasts) from the Complete Corpus of Anglo Saxon Poetry, presented by Prof. Michael Drout, Wheaton College. For those that like to read along, the Corpus presented in text (no translation, though).
posted by Chrischris (18 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
very cool - don't miss the excerpts from beowulf
posted by pyramid termite at 8:16 PM on March 20, 2010

Super awesome - thanks.
posted by flavor at 8:19 PM on March 20, 2010

Glad it said, 'Norton, Ma: at the top of the page. There's one Wheaton College that doesn't get my trade, even if it's for free.

But since it comes from a place that teaches about the enlightenment and evolution: Great. (I'm starting to think really learned Old English would be better than forgotten Spanish and German.)
posted by Some1 at 8:56 PM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 8:58 PM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

One day, I would like to go to a live recital, and as soon as it starts stand up and say, "Always about the bloody spear danes isn't it?"

Otherwise, listening to Old English is quite interesting, but kinda useless if you can't speak it or aren't learning. I sat through a fair amount of Beowulf once before getting bored of swilcing this and maegan hrofstanda that. For me, the best bit is hearing the beat that Anglo-Saxon poetry had as opposed to our puny rhyming.
posted by Sova at 9:08 PM on March 20, 2010 [4 favorites]

Has anyone heard or otherwise come across a recording of two fluent speakers of Anglo-Saxon holding a conversation?

Whilst I appreciate the declamatory thrust of these recordings, it makes me wonder what the languge sounded like in daily usage--what, for instance, a conversation of a mother soothing a sleepy child or a husband and wife lying abed and quietly discussing the events of the day might have sounded like... I imagine the cadences and rythm would have been quite different from that of the Corpus, whose bardic, performative nature lends itself (I would imagine) to a much more brash and enuncitorial mode of speaking.
posted by Chrischris at 9:28 PM on March 20, 2010

My first and only tattoo is the word "Hwaet" on my leg. I've always loved the poem, both in its sonorous original version and Seamus Heaney's translation. I also liked the idea of a poet's word, a word that embodies a story so masculine and so enduring, that managed to survive for a thousand years and wind up on some feminist's body.
posted by zoomorphic at 9:55 PM on March 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

I love this link, and will look and listen long -
Still, my speech may strain with same-soundings,
Bothering the beginning of each breath.
Many might misinterpret my mood, maintaining
I am a fucking foolish fuckhead.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:07 PM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I really like The Wanderer.

Thanks for the post.
posted by nickyskye at 10:18 PM on March 20, 2010

I just love the cadences. Thanks.
posted by clockzero at 10:20 PM on March 20, 2010

Amazon will happily sell you J.R. Clark-Hall's A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary for ten bucks, assuming you, like me, have ten bucks and a sudden need for such. Or, if you don't like Clark-Hall or Amazon, you could keep the online Bosworth and Toller open in another tab.

(In my case, I was translating a big chunk of the spellwork in Matt Wagner and Amy Reeder Hadley's DC/Vertigo comic Madame Xanadu. I use both Clark-Hall and the Bosworth and Toller page, depending on what comes up, and I suspect Wagner does too.

Also, totally having Wagner sketch Madame X in, and autograph, my Clark-Hall at SDCC this year.)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:29 PM on March 20, 2010

If you enjoy this you might be interested in his audio courses. I listened to his Modern Scholar History of the English Language last summer and it was very informative. I was taking a class with the same title for credit at the time and there was about 80% overlap in material. I got it from my public library.
posted by Tashtego at 10:38 PM on March 20, 2010

When I was in high school we had a Vice Principal/football coach who would go to the senior English classes once every year & read from Beowulf in the original Old English. He made one hell of an impression, with his hulking build, bald head & booming voice bringing to life the battles of Beowulf against Grendel & the monster's mother.
posted by scalefree at 11:11 PM on March 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

Even though my podcast directory is full to bursting with overflow from SXSW, this got added to my list immediately. I love listening even if I don't understand a word.
posted by immlass at 8:46 AM on March 21, 2010

Hmm... think I prefer my own uni's recordings - http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/stella/readings/OE/OE.HTM. Sounds a bit weird with (I presume) an American voice. The uber-rolled 'rrrr' is off-putting.
posted by meosl at 8:56 AM on March 21, 2010


I love me some Anglo-Saxon. Flat-out one of my favorite languages.
posted by grubi at 6:17 AM on March 22, 2010

This is so fucking cool, thank you.
posted by everichon at 9:06 AM on March 22, 2010

If you like this, you might also like early German poetry. One of my all time favorites is the Hildebrandslied. (aka the Lay of Hildebrand, but I was a German major, so I always think of it as the -lied). Here it is as a recording.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:45 PM on March 22, 2010

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