Tag Archives: Old English

Translating Mann

In Old English, a mann is a human being of any gender, translated into modern English as anyone, they, people, a citizen, a human. Mann is not a male person here, so when you see Mann as… More

Translating Nyd

Need‘s Rune poem partner is the Human stanza, but you can’t translate the Need stanza without keeping an eye on the Hail stanza next door. Need and Hail are so much alike.… More

How to Listen Beforehand

You ok? You look a mess. Well, you knew this meltdown was coming. We all did. There were signals and patterns and that was a massive red flag back there, but no. Some people don’t… More

Your hand hurts. Your non-ergonomically correct work station is giving you all kinds of scoliosis. You are low on ink and making more is a whole thing. That stuff doesn’t grow… More

Fate

Both the Need and Human stanzas say that life is guided and determined by the gods, and they both highlight two seemingly contradictory aspects of fate, its changeability and its certainty.… More

Life and Death

The Rune Poem stanzas Wealth and Human have so much in common they ought to be a matched set, except they already have their own partners, The Grave, and Need. Here are Wealth and HumanMore

Voiced alveolar nasal. Vibrate some air through your vocal cords, stop it at the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Nope. No passage here. Never. Send that air out through your nose.… More

Send out some air and impede it a bit with your vocal cords, press your lips together and send that air through your nose. Smell that? Mmmmm. Delicious.

Carve the rune for joy and give … More

Stanza 21: The Sea

byþ leodum         langsum geþuht
gif hi sculun neþan         on nacan tealtum.
and hi sæ yþa         swyþe bregaþ.
and se brim hengest         bridles ne gym 
᛬᛫

For the peopleMore

Stanza 9: Hail

byþ hwitust corna.         hwyrft hit of heofones lyfte.
wealcaþ hit windes scuras.         weorþeþ hit to wætere syððan
᛬᛫

It is the whitest of grains; it whirls from heaven’sMore

Translating Hægl

The Rune Poem’s stanzas vary in length. Each of the first eight stanzas consist of three lines containing four beats of stressed syllables: twelve beats total. Then we get an… More

Translating Lagu

Waterways were busy places during the time of the Rune Poem, making for convenient connections between coastal settlements and with ports of trade farther afield. However, things… More

The Water Cycle

The people of the Rune Poem were farmers and seafarers living in a wet country, and they had a much closer relationship with weather than we have. We can spend whole productive lives … More

A Horrible Wonder

There each of the nights might
see a horrible wonder,

Fire on flowing water.
None so wise live

Of the children of the people,
that know the depth.

Though the heath stalker
pressed by hounds,… More

Voiceless spirant. Make a narrow aperture of your mouth and throat, leave your vocal cords aside, and force air through. Create friction, steam up the mirror. Huh. Hah.

Placed at the… More

Alveolar dental sonorant: using your gum ridge and teeth, leave your tongue free laterally, partially impeding your vocal resonance: now sing. Lalalalalalalahhhhh! Largo! Lalalaaaaaaaaah!… More

Stanza 8: Joy

ne bruceþ         ðe can ƿeana lyt
sares and sorge         and him sylfa hæfþ
blæd  blysse         and eac byrga geniht ᛬᛫

They partake of this who know little of woes,
Pain and anxiety,More

Stanza 22: Ing

wæs ærest         mid east denum.
gesewen secgun.         oþ he siððan est.
ofer wæg gewat         wæn æfter ran.
ðus heardingas         ðone hæle nemdun
᛬᛫

First he was among More

Translating Ing

Ing is a mystery. Who is Ing? Where did he go? Why did he leave? We don’t know. You know who knows? The Rune Poem knows: the Rune Poem has the only specific intel we’ve got on… More

Translating Wyn

The Wyn stanza breaks with the usual byþ beginning: it starts with ne. Ne means not, or no. It can be used as a conjunction too, but here ne is neither this nor that. Old English is an inflected… More

Prosperity

When you line up the Rune Poem stanzas and bend the line back on itself into a long U shape so the runes face each other, you get fourteen pairs. This pair, Ing and Wyn, the eighth, begins… More

What is W? It looks like two Vs but its name says it is U doubled. It is a consonant, but in other times in select places, it is a vowel. What happened? Why do we have W?

Before English was ever… More

Ing was a deity of prosperity and we remember his abundance in our coins the scilling (shilling) and the feorþing (farthing). In oldest Old English Ing is a word meaning a muggy riverside… More

Stanza 23: Home

byþ ofer leof         æghwylcum men.
gif he mot ðær. rihtes         and gerysena on
brucan on bolde         bleadum oftast
᛬᛫

It is beloved to everybody
If we assemble there on whatMore

Turn

He did not disappear from sight, but stayed;

indeed he so impeded my ascent

that I had often to turn back again.

 

 

More

Stanza 7: Gift

gumena byþ         gleng and herenys.
wraþu  wyrþscype          wræcna gehwam
ar and ætwist         ðe byþ oþra leas
᛬᛫

For the people it is ornament and praise
Support and honor,More

Translating Gifu

Gift giving was a big deal to the people of the Rune Poem. It was everything. They gave everything. It could be food or goods, but they loved ornament and anything old especially: gilded,… More

Translating Eþel

The Rune Poem is sung in a tempo that changes from time to time. You can find the beats and the rests between them in the stresses of the words in each stanza. Some move quickly like the adjacent… More

Gift Riddle

You possess me always but may touch me not,
Give me away for I’m all that you’ve got.
Though I am but one you may give me a lot,
Never fear that your gift will leave you with naught
More

You Have Nothing Else

Imagine yourself. Now imagine yourself 1500 years ago. Can you think like that? Think in Old English. There you go. Now you belong to a people who knew the Rune Poem backward and forward… More