So tonight one of the works I am translating is called Deor. This title alone could mean “bold” or “dear” or “animal.” My book calls this work a “poem of consolation.” Each verse recounts a miserable experience, followed by a little refrain that loosely translates as “That passed, so too shall this.” The first verse is about a guy who is famous for his metalworking, so the King captures him, and hamstrings him to keep him from escaping (That passed, so too, shall this). In the next verse the guy makes himself some wings and escapes, but on his way out, kills the king’s two sons and rapes the daughter. who then discovers she is pregnant.
The general flavor is “Wow, that person’s life sucked, but they got through it (dead or alive.)” Apparently the poet who wrote this had just been fired by his patron from his poet job, and in this way he was being philosophical about it.
I am trying also to be philosophical about the next three hours of my life spent translating. After all, those guys’ lives really sucked, but now all their misery is in the past, as mine will be too…
Okay, I know it’s shallow, but I just want to bypass the misery and watch Battlestar Galactica instead.