Anglo-Saxon Aloud: some words

You know, I’ve written and translated some OE by now, and we’ve seen it represented on the page, but that’s not how it was meant to be experienced, really. The scop didn’t just read it off his scrap of parchment (prohibitively expensive, I’d imagine)–he memorized it, and then he spoke it. That’s oral poetry.

So, where can you hear some of this wonderful oral poetry? Go thou no further than Anglo-Saxon Aloud, a great addition to your playlist! There, Mr. Drout has recorded a large body of spoken OE texts, poetry, and etc. If you want to hear a text like Beowulf come to life in your ears, that’s the place for you.

Of course, I have some personal preferences as to how OE should be spoken aloud, and therefore  I would differ somewhat with Mr. Drout’s diction (for example, he seems to have a fondness for heavily trilled r’s, and a tendency to make /ea/ diphthongs into /i/, /y/ into /u/, etc.), but if you’re listening for pleasure, it’s doesn’t much matter. The joy of hearing an ancient language livened and quickened with the a new voice. . .it’s neat, to say the least.

So go thumb your ear through a few sound files. Time well spent.


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