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Beth in SW WA

Sir Gawain & The Green Knight -- input needed please...

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Thanks, Jean!

 

Any snow in Wisconsin yet? :)

 

 

We've had flurries, and one day the ground had just enough to be visible. Nothing substantial yet, though! I'l be sure to photograph it when it comes (there was one pic of the flurries on my blog last Wed. :))

 

:)Jean

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Weren't you the one last year about this time that was snowed in for days? Global warming skips over Wisconsin obviously :)

 

I'll be looking for that white blanket in your backyard!

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Weren't you the one last year about this time that was snowed in for days? Global warming skips over Wisconsin obviously :)

 

I'll be looking for that white blanket in your backyard!

 

We had a lot of snow last year, but we were able to get out most of the time. I had my mom here after heart surgery and had to call the township snowplow to come down our road before the ambulance could get to our house.

 

Shades of white are coming soon:party:

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Reading the NY Times list of 100 Notable Books of '08, I see a new translation of Gawain by Simon Armitage. Here is a review written by Edward Hirsch, perhaps best known as the author of the book How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry. (Or at least that is how I am familiar with the reviewer.) I thought that the information on the device called the "bob and wheel" was interesting.

 

Happy reading!

Jane

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(which I've probably misspelled)

I've always loved alliteration. I like front rhymes much better than back rhymes. And I like rhythm, too, even though it isn't considered very sophisticated. Sir Gawain and Beowulf were some of the only bits of high school English that I remember and liked, and I looked forward to reading them with my children. I did my research paper on McLeish. (Now that I think about it, I don't think we ever read Sir Gawain in school. The teacher just retold us the story, sort of acting it out, and then got a complaint from one girl's parents, which is why I remember now. I read it on my own, later.)

 

Between the intro and TWEM poetry section, most of the infor in the article I'd seen before, but it was fun comparing translations. I think afterall I like "flowery". We read the modern, plainer version of The Iliad that TWTM recommends, but when we looked briefly at other translations (in an effort to bring home to my children how much power the translator has), I remember wishing we were reading one of the more poetical sounding ones. I didn't switch because The Iliad is long and I thought my children might be better off with a plainer version. I'm not sure I was right. Now that I've read more with them, I've found that more complicated structures don't bother them much. They don't always understand what is going on, but they don't seem to mind not understanding every line, which is convenient, and they like alliteration and rhythm and words, too.

 

In case anyone is interested, I found the JRR Tolkein passage that appears in the article, so you can comapare:

 

they thought.

He came none knew from where,

but it seemed to them he ought

to be a prince beyond compare

in the field where fell men fought.

 

I guess I just like "fell" better than "fierce". The new translation is probably going to be great for those who need their English to be more modern.

 

I don't think English is designed to be rhymed. When we began studying Latin and having to memorize the endings, I remember thinking no wonder so much rhymed in Latin, with all those similar endings and more freedom to put the ones you need at the end of the line. English alliterates beautifully, though, and is nice and rhythmic.

 

Thank you, Jane!

-Nan

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Reading the NY Times list of 100 Notable Books of '08, I see a new translation of Gawain by Simon Armitage. Here is a review written by Edward Hirsch, perhaps best known as the author of the book How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry. (Or at least that is how I am familiar with the reviewer.) I thought that the information on the device called the "bob and wheel" was interesting.

 

Happy reading!

Jane

 

I've been reading aloud the Armitage translation to my 6th grader and it's fantastic. I read the first few pages of the Tolkien aloud to my son, and then the Armitage, and we could not put it down.

 

This may seem like a strange suggestion, but if you happen to live in a city where there is a Revels production (http://www.revels.org, click on Christmas Revels) check that out. In most of the shows there is a mummer's play (and ours recently did Gawain), so the "flavor" of the story was already familiar to my boys, from that exposure.

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I'm bumping this thread which occurred about a year ago. Those of you who may be struggling with Gawain or literature of the middle ages may be helped by the sagacious advice of Janice, Nan, Lori D, Jean, et al.

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Does anyone else feel this way??

 

Anyway, thank you for your advice and encouragement. I will press on!

 

YES! I do!! You're not alone......

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More on the motif of "the green man." He is seen as a fertility figure (life, renewal, continuation) in many cultures and there has been some association with Christ, as well....

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Oh! how I wish I could transport with you all to share cookies and coffee and great lit discussions ;)

 

I just wanted to thank you all again. I am facilitating a course on ancient and medieval lit for our homeschool group -- highschoolers -- and this post helps me so much! I would not have thought to get the audio version with Seamus Heaney reading.... or that beautifully illustrated version of Beowulf. And -- I had just about given up on Gawain ;)

 

Aloha,

 

Kristin

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As the OP, this thread brings back great memories of hs'ing my middlers a few years ago. I was so unprepared for that task. God helped me -- and I could NOT have done it without the support of the wonderful moms & dads here.

 

I think I'll pull out SG and read it again. It never disappoints. :)

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Sorry, no time to read all the posts ahead of me...

 

Medieval literature has always been my demise. I however am doing year 7 of Ambleside Online which includes Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight. I did okay reading some of it, but still really struggled. Then I saw someone recommend this audio version from audible.com. It was fabulous! I listened to it in one sitting and was completely mesmerized. He actually reads through it twice - once in the "translated" English and then once in the original English, so it's only about 2.5 hours long. But he reads it in such a way that totally brings it to life in such a way that even the most medieval literature-challenged among us can understand and (gasp) enjoy.

 

Tana

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