A Verse translation of Anglo-Saxon
Cædmon is the first English poet whose
name survives; thus he stands at the beginning of our literature.
In Bede’s famous account, Cædmon’s nine-line
Genesis hymn brought traditional oral poetry into the realm of
writing some time in the latter half of the seventh century. Over
the next four hundred years, a series of anonymous poets took
up his challenge, producing the richest corpus of literature to
emerge from early medieval Europe. High among their achievements
are the works of those who followed Cædmon’s example
and rewrote the stories of the Old Testament for their own time,
combining Germanic tradition with the Christianity of the Mediterranean
world to create vivid new renditions of the great Bible narratives.
In Exodus, Genesis B, and Judith they produced masterpieces that
rank beside Beowulf as monuments of the era.
This book is the first to represent the Old Testament genre comprehensively
in modern English verse translation, making it available to students
and non-specialist readers in a form that captures much of the
vigour and rhythmic texture of the original poems.
An extensive Introduction and Explanatory Notes aid access to
these unique artefacts of the early medieval world.
TO BOOK LIST