I’m delighted to (belatedly) announce that my translation of the Old English poem “The Ruin” appears in the newest issue of Presence, a great journal run by great people.
I read the poem in the audio file below, but here’s some basic context too:
“The Ruin” is a poem found in the tenth-century Exeter Book, which is the first anthology of English poems and a great treasure of English speakers’ literary inheritance. The poem is spoken by an Anglo-Saxon as he stands before what seems to be a Roman ruin in Britain, and he meditates on the transience of culture and human life as he marvels at what the ruin suggests about the creative energies that once existed where he stands. In my translation, I take this scene and “update” it to a Euro-American standing in front of a Middle Woodland burial mound in Milwaukee, WI’s Lake Park, with the same kind of brooding on transience etc.
The picture below shows the Lake Park mound (the green slope between trees with the stone marker on top) and the audio provides a reading of part of the original Old English and of the whole Modern English translation.
I hope you enjoy what was an immensely rewarding project for me.
This coming Tuesday, November 26th at 7 pm, anyone in the Milwaukee area who wants to support translators and/or the literary arts in general should come on down to Boswell Book Company on Downer Ave. (more details on their homepage).
I’ll be talking about and reading from my translation of Swami Abhishiktananda’s French poems (In the Bosom of the Father), along with Dr. Lorena Terando of UW-Milwaukee and former Boswellian Caroline Froh.
After brief readings from each of us, we’ll have a Q&A about translation in general and the works themselves.
If you’re in the Milwaukee area and want to support the arts, please attend a reading that Dr. Tyler Farrell and I will be offering at the Haggerty Museum of Art on Marquette University’s campus. It’s a great space, and free and open to the public! I’m particularly excited about this reading as I’ll be reading from my translation of Dom John Lydgate’s Troy Book (the great and massive fifteenth-century poem about the Trojan War) for the first time in public.
Here are the bios, plans, and contact info for the venue:
Tyler Farrell is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the English department at Marquette University and teaches writing, poetry, drama, Irish and British Literature and film. He also leads two study abroad programs, one to London in J-session and the other to Ireland in Summer. He has published three books of poetry with Salmon: Tethered to the Earth(2008), The Land of Give and Take (2012) and will be reading primarily from his most recent collection, Stichomythia(2018). Farrell is a fan of poetry and art and always feels the wonders that art forms can bring to us. Go poetry!
Jacob Riyeff is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the English department at Marquette University. In addition to teaching, he is a translator, poet, and scholar of medieval literature. Jacob’s publishing projects mainly center on the poetry of the Benedictine monastic community down thru the ages, and his books include a translation of the tenth-centuryOld English Rule of Saint Benedict (Cistercian Publications); a translation of the collected poems of Dom Henri Le Saux (aka Swami Abhishiktananda), In the Bosom of the Father (Resource); and his own poetry collection, Sunk in Your Shipwreck (Resource). He will be reading from his collection and a couple new poems.
For more information, contact Lynne Shumow at email@example.com