Presentation on theme: "The Seafarer Translated by Burton Raffel Composed by an unknown poet."— Presentation transcript:
The Seafarer Translated by Burton Raffel Composed by an unknown poet
Part of The Exeter Book The Exeter Book was given to Exeter Cathedral in the 11 th century. It contained a collection of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.
The Seafarer – the cold, hard facts Can be considered an elegy, or mournful, contemplative poem. Can also be considered a planctus, or “complaint.” This would involve a fictional speaker and a subject that may be loss other than death. Regardless, the expression of strong emotion is the key.
The Seafarer – the cold, hard facts cont. What the poem has that most Anglo- Saxon poems also have: 1.Caesuras – pause in a line 2.Alliteration joins the 2 parts of the line 3.Kennings – metaphorical phrases
The Seafarer – the cold, hard facts Caesura and alliteration in action “The only sound / was the roaring sea” Kennings “coldest seeds” = hail “givers of gold” = Anglo-Saxon kings
The Seafarer – the cold, hard facts A wraecca tells his tale; he is at sea. (A “wraecca” was a person who had been exiled from his community.) Poem highlights the balance between the Anglo-Saxon belief in fate, where everything is grim and overpowering, and the Christian believer’s reliance on God.
The Seafarer – the cold, hard facts The land represents safety and security. The sea represents hardship and struggle, but the man is drawn to it because it brings him closer to God. The sea represents the power of God. “Home” represents heaven or being closer to God.
The Seafarer – the cold, hard facts The following lines you’ll want to be able to define. (understand = test) 1.“Nothing Golden shakes the Wrath of God.” 2.“Sweated in the cold of an anxious watch”
The Seafarer – literary criticism Some believe that the poem has 2 speakers. One who makes a personal “complaint” and a second who comments on the condition described by the first. The second speaker emphasizes man’s relationship with the divine rather than one man’s personal plight.
The Seafarer – literary criticism However, Michael Alexander, a literary critic, believes it is not a dialogue. “The poem is a soliloquy: a wraecca that tells of the many winters [he] spent at sea, and the hardship he has borne.”
The Seafarer – literary criticism Rosemary Woolf believes the following: “”…the man who lives a life on land is always in a state of security and contentment: he is therefore mindless of the Christian image of man as an exile; …The sea, however, is always a place of isolation and hardship: the man, therefore, who chooses to be literally what in Christian terms he is figuratively, must forsake the land and live upon the sea.”
Reading Poetry – in general Don’t stop at the end of a line, stop at the punctuation mark. The end of the line has to do with the “beat” of the line; it has nothing to do with the “meaning” of the line. Reading to the punctuation mark is called enjambment.