Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A change of mind

I don't know. The name up there is very random, but it might come out to bring sense.

Maybe I should write something philosophical for this post, or something un-philosophical. I could elaborate on translation and reading of Anglo-Saxon poetry and prose, or tell you how I liked Bede's account of the conversion of King Edwin. I read it this morning for English Lit, you see. Indeed, Bede is genius, although my friend gave me a haunting idea on him. Not that I'm surprised by it, but it makes me feel as though I'm sinful to read and like his writings. Not to mention randomly read and translate them in Latin.

I could ask you now if you think I use the word 'random' too much. I think I do, but it's such an interesting word, as is 'odd'. They are both very much attractive to me; they explain me, and things I know and have, so well. There are so many like words, but I won't go and write a dictionary of them, because it might end up being the whole Oxford English Dictionary, or something.

Words are words, and they are so important. Some fail to recognise the very immensity of the language of literature, which is words, and their meanings, and what they can mean. And my sister, who is in this house, is being very odd and pointing at me with a strange expression on the part of her body which is highest from the ground in general, unless she tends to be like Mr. Addams of the Addams Family show. Insane man, he.

I find so many areas of life interesting. I think that to understand me, it would be good to understand that. In fact, it may be necessary to, at least in some form or manner, rather like other things that could serve as metaphors or similes or something odd that my mind can't manage to think up. Nice long sentence there that makes no sense and which you will stumble on, or won't. But I think I would, so you probably will, because I'm stumbling on it now.

I LOVE CHOCOLATE.

:) Thank you. I had two chocolate cookies earlier, very recently, wonders. With milk. Mmmm.

I will try to cease from such vigil in the future, but it helps to know me. I do love chocolate, at least, I like it very much. I don't think I love it; love seems more for God and for people. Something more worthy of love is something with a soul and character, I seem to think. It's just how I am.

Goodness. I'm lecturing on here and to my friend, and I can't seem to separate the two. Just tell me if this is interesting when it is done.

Now, I believe I'll go and find a poem to put on. I don't think I'll have to search long, because if I find the right poem, it sort of... bounces out at me, and I just post it.
Then I write a lecture on it.

Here is a poem I wrote inspired, I believe, by The Seafarer, an Anglo-Saxon poem from the Exeter Book (http://www8.georgetown.edu/departments/medieval/labyrinth/library/oe/exeter.html), and a poem by a friend of mine. And yes, I've mentioned a lot of my friends here. Three or four. :P


Cold eyes, dashing sea,
Breaking through waves,
Nothing in it I can see.
Darkness bitter, tearing waves,
Nothing but the darkest staves
Can clash and break this sea.
Nothing in it I know,
Nothing in it I can tell,
It is darkness all around,
Nothing but the floundering waves
Can I see, swirling around,
Nothing but the darkness grim,
Nothing that I can know.

Lost in waves, struggling,
I try for shore, a little light,
My eyes above the water,
Looking far, seeing light,
The sun on cliffs gleaming gold,
The sun no matter can make old.
There the waves brought me safe,
I came to land and saw the cliffs,
Bright, red-coloured,
Flaming dragon's scales,
Darkness was no more for me.
Darkness passed beyond the east.
Darkness was forever gone.



If you've ever read a translation (or the original language) of The Seafarer, you might see a comparison. Both are at sea, in general, although they have different settings of how you are at sea. I don't know how this one comes into the picture, but in the beginning, the speaker is drowning at sea, or at least in it, to some extent, and is trying to reach shore.

It covers some ideas I've had for stories. The cliffs discussed were a marvelously interesting idea I had. I really liked it. They're cliffs that face the west or something. Could be east, but the sunset seems so much hotter than the sunrise. the sunrise generally looks cool and... golden. Anyways, they're cliffs down to sea, coloured like fire. In my stories, most dragon's known, I think, or more common ones, had fiery-coloured scales. Therefore, there is that connection here. I often see them in my mind when I think or read of them from what I've written, they're actually pretty nice. But blindingly bright, really. I don't know what they're like, but they look beaten, rather like a battened shield, or is the word battened? I like that word because it sounds exactly like the OE... I think, it's quit related. Sounds OE. Love OE. And you know not what OE is. ;)

There, I've ranted. In any case, the cliffs are lovely. I don't think there are cliffs like that anywhere in the world. But it's fantasy.

I'm sorry the post's long. I'm having long thoughts. I should say something sensible, but I've lost all sense because I started staring at the OE Riming Poem int he Exeter Book, linked to above. Love the Exeter Book. I want a nice, fat, leather-bound copy to pour over and read the Anglo-Saxon poems out loud. I love to; Old English is such a beautiful language. I also like to practise my Old English knowledge on speed-translating, or what I call reading, the poems. Because I'm not really translating them. I can read Latin better than Old English because I'm not as rusty on it. I lent my Old English booky thing to a friend of mine across the continent, so I haven't go it now. But she is quite allowed to have it. ;) I'll just be glad when it's back, because... I miss all the words and grammar!

Sense. I will try to succumb to sense.

I think that sometime I should write on definitions and literature.

I think I will now.



If you are at all familiar with foreign literatures, you may know how how words' meanings can be changed to be, well, unmundane. Different than bath meaning a bath. It's hard to explain, but combining words can create meanings far beyond what they may seem. However, some people do not understand what they mean. I'm afraid I pity them. Old English poetry is somewhat broad, and the words they use constantly have senses, or a taste to them.

I can't think of particular words, but the way that words end up deriving into English with different meanings than their Old English derivatives is often, I think, because of the sense of the Old English word. In English, some of our words have almost multiple meanings, rather like multiple personalities, which I like to, insanely, say I have. I can't even think of a particular word to demonstrate, but I think you may get the idea.

There could be an Old English word for deed, let us say, or act, but it has a sense of an evil deed to it, not a good deed, or just a simple neutral deed. Well, I don't really think deeds can be neutral, but think of... the deed of putting away your shoes and then the deed of giving money to some charity. And, often, in OE, that word for deed, if it exists or existed, could come into English as even 'an evil man', or so. It's odd, but that almost illustrates what I mean, but I think that's dreadfully too... strange and far-fetched.

But I have a good one that's been in my mind for weeks now. There is an Old English word, 'wyrd', meaning 'fate, doom'. I believe the sense of this word was very important to the lives of Anglo-Saxons; at least, my English Literature textbook gives that idea, and certainly the Old English poems do as well. You may possibly have guessed that this word, 'wyrd', came into English as 'weird'. You would be correct, as far as I know. I won't say this as a fact because I find I don't trust myself on it, even if my E. Lit. textbook says that, too. I thought so when I first encountered the word in Old English class, however, last schoolyear in my dear ol' OE guide. Well.

Wyrd means doom (I prefer, though doom also comes from Old English... but that is COMPLETELY unimportant here, I must chastise me...), and weird means strange. Fate, or doom, in the Old English poems is looked on as a fateful thing, and is feared, and is, in general, weird. The textbook, and I suppose I should give it credit because it has been mentioned so many times (it is, England in Literature- America reads - classic edition, or something... that's what it says on the front), notes that in Shakespeare's Macbeth, it has the Three Weird Sisters. They symbolise fate, I believe (at least, from what I've gotten so far, and I blame this on the book again), therefore not only being weird. But they certainly are weird.

The word 'wyrd' came into English as 'weird' because fate, or doom, was weird, and the word had the idea as, I think, something that the Anglo-Saxons could in no way foretell.

I should have come to that earlier, but I'm bad at writing essays, so I hope you like this. I've constantly wished to note these things.


Now, I wish to introduce myself a little further. I tend to write my poetry and even writings, or when I'm just writing or speaking to you, somewhat archaically. I am rather an archaic person. I love archaic things, and tend to use words in a very bendable, interesting way. I admit it's interesting; I know it's interesting. I like to write my English like so many things have been written before. Hebrew literature, Greek literature, Anglo-Saxon literature-- they all seem to have it, a strange power of writing, strange senses in words, strange words, and strange ways of writing. That is, to the modern world. I think, to me, it seems normal, because I'm used to it, and very intrigued by it.

I love the Old English word, 'grimm', or at least, like that. It is the derivative of our 'grim', but it is much more intense. It has more of a stern sense, or a darker, grimmer sense, than our grim does. However, I have the big problem of looking at our word as the Old English one, and so I said 'grimmer' there. I'm afraid languages have an influence on me, and it's not easy, and not really hard, to abandon. I hope you understand. 'Stern, fierce, grim.' Think of what the Anglo-Saxons would have imagined when hearing 'grim storm', or their version, probably 'grimm storm'... or so. I can't exactly remember. They probably would have thought of something like a tornado or hurricane, likely, or a gale at sea. Much worse than what we would think of as a grim storm, or a grim day... just a boring, grey day where we sit around as couch potatoes being stewed or smoked in the heat and humidity of summer.

That should sum it for me. Bedtime is soon.

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