ENG 422 / MED 422

The Work of Grief: Select Old English Poetry

Sarah M. Anderson

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The “art of losing isn’t hard to master,” writes Elizabeth Bishop in “One Art”. We’ll examine that art of representing what we’ve lost, or longed for, in songs of transience and yearning that are brilliant, painful constructions in Old English. What could be mourned, who could grieve, how console? By methods comparative and critical, we will read how these poets of the earliest stage of English comprehended, maybe even mastered, their losses.

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