Translations of almost 79% of all extant Old English poetry can be found here (that’s 23,662 lines out of about 30,000 extant lines).

There’s more to Anglo-Saxon poetry than Beowulf—
and it is just as engaging, vital, and important to the classroom and scholar.

In 2007, dissatisfied with commonly-available volumes of translation (mostly in prose), I set out to bring more of this staggeringly original archive to the attention of teachers of Old English texts, and starting with the hagiographic romance of Andreas. The goal was to make high-quality, imaginatively rendered, readable verse translations available for no cost to the general public, all of them designed for instructors looking to extend the texts they can present to their students, in order to flesh out the picture of Anglo-Saxon culture taught in contemporary schools, at whatever level needed.

Since 2015, the ASNPP has moved beyond strictly narrative poetry, venturing into other genres of Anglo-Saxon verse, including a complete translation of the Exeter Book riddles, the poems of contemplation (often called the “Elegies”), and wisdom poetry (like the enigmatic Solomon & Saturn and The Order of the World). I enjoy translating the poetry so much that I don’t anticipate stopping until I have rendered the entire corpus, including the Metres of Boethius (which is now completed), among other rarely translated poems.

Full texts of these poems are located here. Follow the links to the individual poems on the navigation bar above.


Pentecost

The Pentecost (Rouen, Bibliothèque Municipale Ms Y.7, fol. 29v), ca. 980

Comments

  • This is one of my favorite pieces of anglo-saxon poetry: “There once many a man
    mood-glad, goldbright, of gleams garnished,
    flushed with wine-pride, flashing war-gear,
    gazed on wrought gemstones, on gold, on silver,
    on wealth held and hoarded, on light-filled amber,
    on this bright burg of broad dominion.”

    Flushed with wine pride? I know the feeling!

  • Dear Dr. Hostetter,

    It is encouraging to have come across your project. While my field of research is not Anglo-Saxon poetry but Patristics, I have loved Old English since I was a child. I took the time to learn the language, and have recently translated soem poems into modern English, notably “The Wanderer” (which I have re-titled “Thus Spoke the Earth-Strider”), “Deor,” “Waldere,” and “Wulf and Eadwacer.” These are available on my web site. If you’d care to have a look, your comments would be appreciated. Also, if there are any events dealing with Anglo-Saxon, I’d love to attend or participate. Please keep me informed. I live in Sayreville, NJ. Best regards, Edward

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