Friday, September 24

would YOU read five pages of this stuff?

Old English poetry is difficult to describe as we have only the skeletal remains of what used to be a breathing compendium of combat histories, laments for the lost, and stories full of inexplicable but tangible symbolism. In fact, much of our knowledge consists of having a good idea of what it changed to, and then hazarding a guess as to what it had changed from. The principle characteristics of Old English poetry are therefore derived from a very few manuscripts that, despite revision and biased elaboration, remain powerless to deny their birthright.

This is the introductory paragraph to a paper I am writing on the principle characteristics of Old English Poetry--one of those papers that the professor requires so he doesn't freak out the first time he gets a real paper from you.

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