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Kendra Canfield Apr 2020
I feel like there’s too much on
        my mind to write any of it down

Everything seems to be speaking
Everything wishes to be louder
     All I can do is stare at my toes

My mind and body have been screaming
                         for months
    at me
            in general

It’s too much to write down
    too much to let it out

                                 I might explode
                           or just deflate

I feel like I’ve been treading water
          for longer than I can

and my mouth and nose are finally, slowly
filling with water
            trickling down my throat
                           filling my belly
                as I sink
                       beneath the waves
Michael R Burch Feb 2020
Wulf and Eadwacer
anonymous Anglo-Saxon poem, circa 960 AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My clan’s curs pursue him like crippled game.
They’ll rip him apart if he approaches their pack.
It is otherwise with us.

Wulf’s on one island; we’re on another.
His island’s a fortress fastened by fens.
Here, bloodthirsty curs howl for carnage.
They’ll rip him apart if he approaches their pack.
It is otherwise with us.

My thoughts pursued Wulf like panting hounds.
Whenever it rained—how I wept!—
the boldest cur grasped me in his paws.
Good feelings for him, but for me, loathsome!
Wulf, O, my Wulf, my ache for you
has made me sick; your infrequent visits
have left me famished, deprived of real meat!
Do you hear, Eadwacer? Watchdog!
A wolf has borne our wretched whelp to the woods.
One can easily sever what never was one:
our song together.

Originally published by Measure

"Wulf and Eadwacer" may be the oldest poem in the English language written by a female poet. It has been classified as an elegy, a lament, an early ballad or villanelle, a riddle, a charm, and a frauenlieder or "woman's song." This famously ambiguous poem is hard to pin down!

Keywords/Tags: Wulf, Eadwacer, Anglo-Saxon, Old English, translation, wolf, pack, ****, whelp, baby, child, dogs, curs, hounds, island, fens, woods, sacrifice, song, sever, severed

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