“The Phoenix” Old English Poem

主題 Topic 
書刊名 Title“The Phoenix” Old English Poem
作者 AuthorAnonymous
出版社 PublisherBy Scott, Foresman and Company
出版年 Year
Copyright, 1918
語言 LanguageEnglish
裝訂 Binding□ 平裝 Paperback    □ 精裝 Hardcover
頁數 Pages
(10 / 13)

Bibliography ReferenceHood, Todd W. Translating the Phoenix from Old English into Modern English Prose and Alliterative Verse. Auburn: Auburn UP, 1994.
“The Phoenix." The Anglo-saxon Poetic Records: A Collective Edition. Ed. George Philip Krapp and Elliott Van Kirk Dobbie. 1st ed. Vol. 3. New York: Columbia UP, 1936. 94-113. Print. The Exeter Book.
Web Link
撰寫日期 Date2015-08-09

A.   簡介 Introduction (within 100 words, Chinese or English)

“The Phoenix” is an anonymous Old English poem with 677 lines; it is an important work of the genre of bestiary and the plot refers to a paradise located in India where the weather is mild and the plants never die. In this narrative, the Phoenix is sent to watch the Eden-like garden but the phoenix is mortal. Even though it survives a long period of time, it perishes in ashes. This part of the poem parallels the second part which narrates the life of Jesus and thus the phoenix symbolizes self-sacrifice and resurrection. The most fascinating part of the poem is landscape writing which fits into the genre of locus ameoenus, meaning a pleasant place or a place of comfort. The Medieval representation of landscape involves the notion of taming the wild. As Keith Thomas in his Man and the Natural World notes, human civilization is synonymous with the conquest of nature, since without taming nature, men tend to become savages. The medieval notion of locus ameoenus, therefore, suggests the discrepancy between order and disorder, hence medieval gardens are oftentimes described as enclosed or fenced and sometimes, this kind of garden with trees, termed hortus conclusus, implies celestial vision. “The Phoenix” therefore projects allegorical meanings, which include searching for in an eternal homeland without sorrow and pain. By projecting Christian redemption notion to the image of garden, the poem implies heroic ideals in medieval heritage.

B.   文本摘錄 Extracts (4-6 Pages)

                        I have heard that there lies a land far hence
A noble realm well-known unto men,
In the eastern kingdoms. That corner of the world
Is not easy of access to every tribe
5 On the face of the earth, but afar it was placed
By the might of the Maker from men of sin.
The plain is beautiful, a place of blessings,
And filled with the fairest fragrance of earth;
Matchless is that island, its maker unequalled,
10 Steadfast and strong of heart, who established that land.
There are often open to the eyes of the blessed,
The happiness of the holy through heaven’s door.
That is a winsome plain; the woods are green,
Far stretching under the stars. There no storm of rain or snow,
15 Nor breath of frost nor blast of fire,
Nor fall of hail nor hoary frost,
Nor burning sun nor bitter cold,
Nor warm weather nor winter showers
Shall work any woe, but that winsome plain
20 Is wholesome and unharmed; in that happy land
Blossoms are blown. No bold hills nor mountains
There stand up steep; no stony cliffs
Lift high their heads as here with us,
Nor dales nor glens nor darksome gorges,
25 Nor caves nor crags; nor occur there ever
Anything rough; but under radiant skies
Flourish the fields in flowers and blossoms.
This lovely land lieth higher
By twelve full fathoms, as famous writers,
30 As sages say and set forth in books,
Than any of the hills that here with us
Rise bright and high under heaven’s stars.
Peaceful is that plain, pleasant its sunny grove,
Winsome its woodland glades; never wanes its increase
35 Nor fails of its fruitage, but fair stand the trees,
Ever green as God had given command;
In winter and summer the woodlands cease not
To be filled with fruit, and there fades not a leaf;
Not a blossom is blighted nor burned by the fire
40 Through all the ages till the end of time,
Till the world shall fail. When the fury of waters
Over all the earth in olden times
Covered the world, then the wondrous plain,
Unharmed and unhurt by the heaving flood,
45 Strongly withstood and stemmed the waves,
Blest and uninjured through the aid of God:
Thus blooming it abides till the burning fire
Of the day of doom when the death-chambers open
And the ghastly graves shall give up their dead.
No fearsome foe is found in that land,
No sign of distress, no strife, no weeping,
Neither age, nor misery, nor the menace of death,
Nor failing of life, nor foemen’s approach,
No sin nor trial nor tribulation,

Alliterative translations: Pancoast and Spaeth, Early English Poems; William Rice Sims, Modern Language Notes, vii, 11-13; Hall, Judith, Phœnix, etc.