'Seeds of Sorrow': Landscapes of Despair in The Wanderer , Beowulf's Story of Hrethel, and Sonatorrek

'Seeds of Sorrow': Landscapes of Despair in The Wanderer , Beowulf's Story of Hrethel, and... --Sorg bid swarost byrden. It is well known that elegies often rely on images of ruined building abandoned and overgrown halls, and dismal landscapes as a m e a n s of portraying loss. The landscapes of elegy, once worked on by m e m o r y and imagination, allow for the paradoxical co-existence in the m i n d of two oppositions, what w a s then and what is n o w . The familiar landscapes of elegy are thus loci for the h u m a n experience of time's arrow.2 In Old English elegy, the elegiac landscape often functions not only as an exterior symbol of the passing of time but as a representation of the interior landscape. In Wulf and Eadwacer the grieving w o m a n ' s tears are hardly to be distinguished from the rain. This is Eric Stanley's point on poetic imagery in The Wanderer; for the 1 'Sorrow is the heaviest burden,' Solomon and Saturn 313. Quotation Solomon and Saturn are taken from The Anglo-Saxon Minor Poems, ed. Elliot van Kirk Dobbie, Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records 6 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1942). 2 O n time http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Parergon Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)

'Seeds of Sorrow': Landscapes of Despair in The Wanderer , Beowulf's Story of Hrethel, and Sonatorrek

Parergon, Volume 15 (2) – Apr 3, 1998

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Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)
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Copyright © The author
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1832-8334
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Abstract

--Sorg bid swarost byrden. It is well known that elegies often rely on images of ruined building abandoned and overgrown halls, and dismal landscapes as a m e a n s of portraying loss. The landscapes of elegy, once worked on by m e m o r y and imagination, allow for the paradoxical co-existence in the m i n d of two oppositions, what w a s then and what is n o w . The familiar landscapes of elegy are thus loci for the h u m a n experience of time's arrow.2 In Old English elegy, the elegiac landscape often functions not only as an exterior symbol of the passing of time but as a representation of the interior landscape. In Wulf and Eadwacer the grieving w o m a n ' s tears are hardly to be distinguished from the rain. This is Eric Stanley's point on poetic imagery in The Wanderer; for the 1 'Sorrow is the heaviest burden,' Solomon and Saturn 313. Quotation Solomon and Saturn are taken from The Anglo-Saxon Minor Poems, ed. Elliot van Kirk Dobbie, Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records 6 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1942). 2 O n time

Journal

ParergonAustralian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)

Published: Apr 3, 1998

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