Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lady G gets to ride and play with the Big Boys

Jane Holland's article "Drinking Beowulf’s Blood: The Influence of Old English on Contemporary Poetry" has very nice things to say about Lady G. It's almost at the end of the article, but the article itself is too good to skip through...

I like her conclusion about the possible uses of OE poetry in modern verse and hope she won't mind if I quote it:

"If we look to Anglo-Saxon remnants for some kind of primitive tribal identity, we will be disappointed, for whatever is reflected back appears to be, rather mundanely, ourselves. Yet we may find inspiration there, and possibly some comfort too: self-aware, heroic epics like Beowulf may earn a place in a war-torn twenty-first century, but so too should the Anglo-Saxon elegies — elegies for the lost, the fallen, the innumerable dead — and their enduring love poems, steeped in the numinous. Embracing the themes and alliterative force of Anglo-Saxon poetry need not entail a dissolution into the ‘ur-bark’ of Paterson’s cautionary tale; instead, it has the potential to empower us in creative terms, bringing contemporary poetry into contact with its own dynamic past and reconnecting it with those fragments of Old English still very much alive at the core of the language."

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