Beowulf Recited in Old English in New York – Performances tonight and Wednesday

by Jan 16, 2001Events

Annimo sent us the following announcement for all of you who, like J.R.R. Tolkien, are Beowulf fans:



I don’t know how many of you all know, probably everybody, but JRRT and friends used to have a wee society where they read poems in old English, old Norse, and Icelandic aloud to each other, by a fireplace, drinking from big old tankards of beer, late into the night.

I have nothing to do with the following (-really-) but there is going to be a performance of Beowulf, one of the oldest poems written in English, in New York Tuesday and Wednesday nights in a converted synagogue now known as the Angel Orensantz foundation, 172 Norfolk Street, on the Lower East Side. (There were also shows all weekend but I missed ’em). Since the Prof’s first scholarly success came with his fresh translation of Beowulf, I thought you all might enjoy knowing about it. I’m going to go myself on Tuesday.

The performer, Benjamin Bagby, who is apparently fluent in Old Anglo-Saxon, will be singing the first quarter of the long lay (until the killing of Grendel) [I]in the original language[/I] while accompanying himself on his lyre. Very beautiful, I bet.

Come on down if you live in NY. E-mail me if you want to meet up there!


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