Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Poetry Thursday 329 - Anglo Saxons gave us poetry

As an ex-teacher of all sorts, on history, the usual question was what's the point. I could give a bigoted answer and say it stops us becoming the 51st American state! However, it also helps us understand where our systems and structures spring from. For example, poetry.

Image result for anglo-saxon poetry

The best known example of such poetry is Beowolf. The poetry is about heroes, enigmatic, brave and humble while concealing their fears. Beowolf fights monsters and dragons as do many such heroes, and were the forerunners to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. All stirring stuff.

Anglo-Saxon poetry tends not to rhyme but is organised by alliteration. Each sentence has 4 stresses separated into pairs by a pause. The first stressed syllable after the pause alliterates with the first or second or both, eg.

and find friendship     in the Father's embrace

Also, rather than metaphor or simile, they use kennings. A kenning is two words that replace a noun, eg.

wave-vat = ocean
battle torch = sword (highly polished so that it shines)

If you are to write in this style perhaps it would be useful to practice building a collection of kennings.

My challenge - write in the Anglo-Saxon style.

Image result for corbyn v may

Austerity’s Over

That’s what she told talking shop, shouting down right conservatives.
A week later no detail, just longing from detractors.
Our hero seizes the moment, orates and bulls eyes accurately.
He itemises painstakingly, the ill-intended policies.
To which she stammered, ineffectively simpering platitudes.
So the clocking-on masses, click their shoe backs massively.
They tongue-lolling the good news, accepting totally blind.
©David L Atkinson October 2018

God Bless

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