June 23, 2004

Over the swan-road...

One treat of our little vacation was a stop in Fargo for lunch with Alan Sullivan and Tim Murphy. We liked them a lot. Alan's a blogger who seems to think a lot like I do, but with enough difference to often irritate me into thinking. But I have to say it's damned peculiar to have lived in San Francisco for decades and then have to go all the way to North Dakota to meet our first gay venture-capitalist/poet! Or should I say poet/venture-capitalist? That's Tim.

We got Alan and Tim to autograph a copy of their translation of Beowulf, recently published. Here's a little bit of it. I think they get the flavor of Old English better than anybody...

...A thane of Hygelac     heard in his homeland
of Grendel's deeds.     Great among Geats,
this man was more mighty     than any then living.
He summoned and stocked     a swift wave courser,
and swore to sail     over the swan-road
as one warrior should     for another in need.
His elders could find     no fault with his offer,
and awed by the omens,     they urged him on.
He gathered the bravest     of Geatish guardsmen.
One of fifteen,     the skilled sailor
Strode to his ship     at the ocean's edge

He was keen to embark:     his keel was beached
under the cliff     where sea currents curled
surf against sand     his soldiers were ready.
Over the bow     they boarded in armor,
bearing their burnished     weapons below,
their gilded war-gear     to the boat's bosom.
Other men shoved     the ship from the shore,
and off went the band,     their wood-braced vessel
bound for the venture     with wind on the waves
and foam under bow,     like a fulmar in flight...

Posted by John Weidner at June 23, 2004 8:35 PM
Weblog by John Weidner