This is the poem that lured me into translating poetry. I loved the poem but didn't feel the existing translations did it justice, so I decided to attempt my own ...


My translation of "Wulf and Eadwacer"

Wulf and Eadwacer
anonymous Anglo-Saxon poem, circa 960 AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My clan’s curs pursue him like crippled game.
They’ll rip him apart if he approaches their pack.
It is otherwise with us.

Wulf’s on one island; we’re on another.
His island’s a fortress fastened by fens.
Here, bloodthirsty curs howl for carnage.
They’ll rip him apart if he approaches their pack.
It is otherwise with us.

My thoughts pursued Wulf like panting hounds.
Whenever it rained—how I wept!—
the boldest cur grasped me in his paws.
Good feelings for him, but for me, loathsome!
Wulf, O, my Wulf, my ache for you
has made me sick; your infrequent visits
have left me famished, deprived of real meat!
Do you hear, Eadwacer? Watchdog!
A wolf has borne our wretched whelp to the woods.
One can easily sever what never was one:
our song together.

Originally published by Measure




Poetry by Michael R. Burch The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 22 times
Written on 2021-06-09 at 03:35

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Michael R. Burch The PoetBay support member heart!
I am not offended by other poets' ideas, so Coo & Co. can speak freely.
2021-06-10


Coo & Co The PoetBay support member heart!
There is scope for interpretation here too (IP?), but Coo holds back, not wishing to offend. We very much enjoyed this poem, Mike; thank-coo :>)
2021-06-09