Features of Anglo Saxon Literature (Poetry)

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September 14, 2013 by ArtBlogger



alliteratve, no rhyme

each line with four stressed and a varying number of unstressed syllables

definite pause (Caesura) between the two halves of each line, with two stresses in each


Heroic Poetry:

traces of pre-Christian heroic society and the community of people which linked the Early English culture with the wider civiization of Germania

product of pagan heroic society


Heroic poems:

Beowulf – Anglo Saxon heroic poem; about the triumph of a hero against a monster; grave courtesy, thirst for fame and solemn boasting of warriors that prove Beowulf as an Anglo Saxon heroic poetry

Widsith – A view of Germanic history and geography as it appears to a Northumbrian bard; about barbarian wanderings and conquests


Ecclesiastical works:

Caedmon and Cynewulf – chief contributors of ecclesiastical poetry

Genesis A, Genesis B – Caedmon’s poems

Caedmon’s Christ and Satan – from a variety of Christian traditions, not directly from biblical sources

Cynewulf’s Andreas – adventures, sufferings and evangelical success of Saint Andrew


Personal Poems

The Wanderer – lament of a solitary man expressing his misery of not being with his master

The Seafarer – monologue of an old sailor recalling loneliness and hardship of life at sea but being aware of its fascination

The Wife’s Lament – personal sentiments of a wife, separated from her husband and forced to dwell in a cave in the forest


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