Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Dragon Likes This Old English Poem, Too
Or…another exile concept that influenced Choices Meant for Gods

Today’s poem also comes from the pages of Poems From the Old English, University of Nebraska Press, 1964. In this one, a husband and wife have been separated (which they seem to think is a bad thing), exemplifying the concept of exile again. (Note the fen alluded to in line 5…one of those formed in Choices Meant for Gods after Drake – bad guy – destroyed Chariss’s family and burned the town she lived in to the ground, etc. It’s great imagery! Those Anglo-Saxons just rocked, didn’t they?)

WULF AND EADWACER
My people may have been given a warning:
Will they receive him, if he comes with force?

It is different for us.

Wulf is on an island, I on another.
(5) An island of forts, surrounded by swamp.
That island belongs to bloody barbarians:
Will they receive him, if he comes with force?

It is different for us.

Hope has wandered in exile, with Wulf.
(10) When the rain was cold and my eyes ran red
With tears, when heavy arms reached out and took me
And I suffered pleasure with pain. Wulf,
Of my Wulf, it was hoping and longing for you
That sickened me, starved for the sight of you,
(15) Bent with a despair deeper than hunger.

Listen, Eadwacer! The wolf will carry
Our wretched suckling to the shade of the wood.
It’s easy to smash what never existed,
You and I together.


It’s that bleak romantic stuff that makes me wish Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte had had access to these poems when they were writing their classics. In Charlotte’s fabulous novel Jane Eyre, Edward Rochester and Jane experienced this separation. You felt it when you read Jane’s soliloquies at St. John Rivers’s home; yet there is no evidence (that I’ve found) that the Brontes had OE texts in their library. What a shame! Emily, at the very least, would have feasted on this stuff.

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