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Wulf and Eadwacer by Hypatia Pickens


  
Wulf and Eadwacer by Hypatia Pickens
Category: SLACTIONS 2012

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    Is he her lover? is he a tribesman? is he an outlaw? is he a wolf?Fuller credits:"Enter the Maze," by composer Kevin MacLeod (royalty free creative commons: incompetech.com) Clothing and architecture by Freja from Folkvan...
    Is he her lover? is he a tribesman? is he an outlaw? is he a wolf?Fuller credits:"Enter the Maze," by composer Kevin MacLeod (royalty free creative commons: incompetech.com) Clothing and architecture by Freja from Folkvang"Brother Wolf" headdress by Hat MechanicWolf avatar by Timber Wild Industriesfilmed in Second Life at "Hyperreal""Wulf and Eadwacer" is one of the most enigmatic Old English poems. It was called the "First Riddle of Cynewulf" (because it starts the riddle section in the Exeter Book) until it was decided that it was part of a longer story told obscurely. All we really know about it is that it is one of only two Old English poems that speak from a woman's point of view, in her voice, and that she has had some relationship with someone or several someones named Wulf and/or Eadwacer. And that any film made of it pins it down, regrettably, to one interpretation. Where I could, I've tried to suggest ambiguity. My translation, my reading in Old English.Text:Leodum is minum swylce him mon lac gifewillað hy hine aþecgan gif he on þreat cymeðungelic is us.wulf is on iege ic on oþerrefæst is þæt eglond fenne biworpensindon wælreowe weras þær on igewillað hy hine aþecgan gif he on þreat cymeðungelice is us.wulfes ic mines widlastum wenum dogodeþonne hit wæs renig weder ond ic reotugu sætþonne mec se beaducafa bogum bilegdewæs me wyn to þon wæs me hwæþre eac laðwulf, min wulf wena me þineseoce gedydon þine seldcymasmurnende mod nales metelistegehyrest þu eadwacer uncerne earne hwelpbireð wulf to wudaþæt mon eaþe tosliteð þætte næfre gesomnad wæsuncer giedd geadorLiteral translation with double meanings on several of the words:It is as if someone gave my people sport/play/sacrifice/battle (lac)Will they/they will receive/take in/consume (aðecgan) him if he comes into the troop. [possibly related to þicgen, "eat like an animal"; i.e., fressen vs. essen]It is different for us/(he is unlike us ??)Wulf is on an island, I on another.Fast is that island surrounded by fen.Slaughter-greedy men are there on the/that? isle.Will they/they will receive/take in/consume/devour him if he comes to the troop.It is different for us/he is different from usI thought (hogode?) of my Wulf's widely laid tracks with hopes OR:I suffered (dogode?) the hopes of my Wulf (during) his far travelings OR:I "dogged" (dogode?) with hopes my Wulf's widely-laid tracks.When it was rainy weather and I sat tearfulThen the battle-ready warrior embraced me in his arms (bogum) OR:Then the battle-ready warrior sheltered me with boughs (bogum) OR:Then the battle-ready warrior embraced me with his shoulders (said of an animal's forequarters: bogum. The world for "arm" in Old English is earm)Wulf my wulf, hopes for youhave made me sick, your seldom-comingsa mourning heart, not at all meatlessness (lack of food).Do you hear Property Watcher? (Eadwacer) OR:You hear, Property Watcher! Wulf/a wolf will bear our wretched cub to the woods.So that one easily tears apart what never was joined,Our song/poem/riddle/union (giedd) together.I'm especially grateful to Sereyes25 for diplomatically pointing out my usual typos. Eyesight is failing me a bit. The VIMEO version has my emendations and fuller credits: https://vimeo.com/46722122
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