Friday, December 31, 2010

Elene XIV, just in time for the new year!

Happy New Year, my friends. Here is the penultimate part of Elene ready for your savor and delectation. We are almost finished with this one, folks, and getting excited about starting a new project. I'm pretty sure it's going to be Genesis A&B: I've been looking forward to the challenge of such a long poem for a while, and the voice of the new poet will be fun to explore and assume. Enough of the Cynewulfian verse--bring on the Caedmonian!

Next week, I'll be at the MLA conference in LA, interviewing for some jobs -- if you see me, say hello!


Then Elene sought sooth-fastness eagerly with the spiritual mysteries
within her heart, a way to glory. Indeed, God of Armies,
Father in Heaven, you helped her, Almighty King, so that the queen
achieved her desire in this world. That prophecy had seen sung before
by wise men of old, all after the beginning, just as it had happened
in each instance. Keenly and through grace of spirit the folk-queen
sought, closely and often, to what purpose might she apply those nails,
best and worthily, to be a comfort to the multitudes
and what might be the desire of the Lord. She ordered then
that fore-wise man be fetched quickly to converse, he who
knew full well his counsel through wise power, sage in his spirit,
and Elene asked him what seemed best to him in his heart
to perform, and approved his advice through precept.
Cyriacus boldly spoke unto her: (1147-66)

“It is appropriate that you keep the word of the Lord,
O best of queens, in your heart by holy secret,
and diligently observe the commandment of the King,
now that God has given you the victorious success of the soul
and the skill of wisdom, the Savior of Men.
Order those nails to be made into a bridle for the noblest
of earthen-kings and city-owners, for his horse as a bit.
It shall be famous throughout middle-earth among many peoples,
when at conflict he may overcome every enemy with it,
when host-strong, his sword-foes seek combat on both sides,
where they struggle for victory, wrathful versus wrathful.
He will have success at war, victory at strife, and peace everywhere,
protection in battle, he who leads before him the bridle on his steed,
when war-renowned at the spear-struggle, tested among warriors,
bearing shield-board and spear-point. This will be to any man
an indomitable weapon of war against wretchedness.
About this the prophet sang, wise in crafty thought—
his heart ran deep, the understanding of his wisdom—and he spoke a word:
‘It shall be known that the emperor’s horse
will be worthied among the battle-proud
for its bit and ringed-bridle.
It will be a sign, named “Holy unto God,”
and that fortunate one, he who that horse
bears shall be esteemed in war.’” (1167-95)

Then Elene swiftly achieved all this before her earls.
She ordered the bridle of the prince to be so adorned,
the ring-giving warrior, and sent it to her own son as a gift,
a noble offering across the ocean’s stream.
She then ordered together those she knew to be the best men among the Jews,
the kinsmen of heroes, to come unto that holy city, into the stronghold.
Then the queen taught the throng of the beloved so that they
should perform fixedly the love of the Lord and peace
amongst themselves likewise, friendship, sinless in their lifetime,
and they heed the precepts of their teacher and Christian customs,
such that Cyriacus bade them, wise of books. (1196-1211a)

So was the bishopric established fairly. Often from far away
came to him the lame, the limb-sick, the ill, the halt, the wound-sorry,
the leprous and the blind, the wretched, the heart-sad, and always there
they found cure and health at the hands of the bishop for ever afterwards. (1211b-17a)

Then Elene gave him yet again precious gifts, when she was ready
to journey again to her homeland, and she bid all the god-praising
in that man-realm, men and women, to honor with their mind and might
that renowned day, with heart and thought, in which the holy rood
was discovered, that most famous of trees which has grown up
from the earth, thriving under its leaves. Then was springtime
departed except for six nights before the arrival of summer,
on the kalends of May. (1217b-28a)

Let the doors of hell be shut up for all men,
and those of heaven be opened wide, and revealed
the eternal realm of angels, the timeless joy, and let their portion
be assigned with Mary, those who keep in their mind
the dearest of feast-day celebrations, of the cross under the heavens,
when he the most powerful, Over-Sovereign of All, covers them with his arms.
Finit. (1228b-35)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Elene XIII at long last!

Hello, after a long, unavoidable delay here is Elene part XIII. In this chapter Judas is baptized, renamed, and given a new task, to locate the nails that bound Jesus to the cross. This extra miracle is accomplished without a problem.

There are only two sections left after this, so I'll take suggestions as to what should be translated next (I have pages ready for The Phoenix and Genesis A&B so they seem likely candidates).

Happy Holidays!


Then Judas was baptized who was at many times before
prepared for the light—*
His heart was inspired into that better life, changed to glory.
Indeed, fate had found that he was so full of faith
and he must become so dear to God in the world-realm,
so pleasing to Christ. It became well known when Elene
ordered Eusebius, Rome’s bishop, to be brought to the holy city,
a fore-wise man, as an aid in the counsel debate with a troop of warriors,
so that Judas could be established in the priest-hood
in Jerusalem for his people, as the bishop within the city
through the gift of spirit to the temple of God,
chosen for his skills—and she renamed him “Cyriacus”
through wise thought. This man’s name was changed afresh
afterwards in the cities to that better one: “the Law of the Savior.” (1043-62a)

Then the mind of Elene was frequently mindful about the famous fate
of those nails that pierced the Savior’s feet and hands likewise,
by which upon the cross was the Sovereign of the Sky, the Mighty Prince
fastened. The Queen of Christians asked about them
and bade Cyriacus that, yet again, by the powers of his soul
he would fulfill her desire about that wonderful event,
revealing those glorious graces, and that word she spoke
to the bishop, boldly addressing him: (1062b-72)

“Thou rightly showed me, shelter of earls, the noble tree,
the cross of the King of the Heavens, upon which he was hanged
by heathen hands, the Aid of Spirits, God’s own Son,
the Savior of Men. Yet an anxiety for those nails reproaches me
in my spirit’s heart. I wish that you would find them
that are still buried deeply in the earth and hidden,
concealed by darkness. Ever my woeful heart sorrows
and laments, and never ceases before the Father Almighty
the Wielder of Armies fulfills my desire, the Savior of Men,
by the arrival of those nails holy from the heights.
Now you swiftly, with all humility, best of messengers,
send your prayers into that bright creation, in joy of glory.
ask the Majesty of Warriors that you be revealed, the Almighty King,
the treasure under the earth that still is buried,
it abides secretly, hidden to the multitudes.” (1073-92)

Then the holy one began to establish his mind, inspired
within his breast, the bishop of the people. Glad-minded
he went forth with a crowd of god-praising men,
and then Cyriacus upon Calvary eagerly bowed his face,
concealing not his heart-secrets, with the might of his soul he called out
to God with all humility, begged the Ward of Angels to reveal to him
that unknown event in his new constraint, where upon that plain
he most likely needed to turn his mind to find those nails. (1093-1103)

Then he caused a sign [to spring] forth, where they were gazing
the Father, the Spirit of Ease, through the hue of flame
exhaled upwards where those most noble nails
were hidden in the earth through the counsels of men and evil cunning.
Then came at once, brighter than the sun, a bouncing flame.
The people saw this miracle made known by their desire-giver,
then there from the darkness, just like a heavenly star
or golden gems, near to the ground, the nails from the closeness shining,
light from below. The people rejoiced, a force wish-exultant:
they said the glory was good, all one-minded, although they were
turned away from Christ before through the devil’s devastation—
for a long time in error. They spoke thus:
“Now we see the token of victory for ourselves, the true miracle
of God, even though we earlier renounced it amid these lyings.
Now is the coming of light revealed, the course of events.
Glory be to the God of Heaven-realm on the highness!” (1104-24)

Then was gladdened he who was turned unto the cure through the Child of God,
the bishop of that people, with a renewed voice. He took up those nails,
frightened by their terror, and reverently brought them to his queen.
Ciriacus had fulfilled all that woman’s desires, just as that noble woman
had commanded. Then there was a ring of cries, poured out the
hot head-welling over her face, (not at all for grief the tears fell over the
wire filigree. The queen's wishes were fulfilled gloriously.
She with illuminated faith set them upon her knee, honored the gift,
exultant in blissfulness, that was brought to her, as help to her grief.
She thanked God, the Lord of Victories, of whom she knew the truth
now present that was often foretold far since from before the world’s start,
as a comfort to mankind. Elene was fulfilled* with wisdom’s gift,
and the holy and heavenly spirit kept a dwelling in her noble heart,
guarded her breast just as the Almighty,
the Victory-child of God, protected her ever since. (1125-46)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My enforced translating hiatus has been de-enforced

So the great push to navigate the job market, complete the Diss, and get it defended has come to successful conclusion. I will be Dr. Secretguinea very soon, and go to LA in January with a few interviews.

The good news for you is that now I have time to finish up Elene. We're so close to the end too, only 200 lines or so. After that, I have a few ideas for a new project, either Genesis A&B (long overdue), or to move to a different language altogether.

I've been pondering the inception of the Anglo-Norman Narrative Poetry Project or to get going on a long-needed modern English translation of the 13th-century roman d'aventures Robert le Diable, but I think the new languages can wait for a bit. I've got lots of time to enter into these new tasks.

Stay tuned for more Elene!