This 14th-century poem, translated into modern English here by J.R.R. Tolkien, tells the story of a man who goes into a graveyard to mourn the death of his baby daughter, who he has lost like a pearl in the grass. Falling asleep, he dreams of the glorious new world she has entered.
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“The publishers deserve thanks for these recordings, which open a window on the mediaeval world. As precious in their way as the Elgin Marbles, these poems unquestionably belong to us and our culture.”
'Pearl' tells the story of a man who goes into a graveyard to mourn the death of his baby daughter, whom he has lost like a pearl that slipped through his fingers into the grass. Worn out by his grief, he falls asleep and has a glorious vision of another, symbolically bejewelled, world, in which he meets his daughter again and discovers what has happened to her.
In 'Sir Orfeo', a minstrel retells, this time with an English setting, the age-old story of the love of Orpheus for Eurydice, a love so strong that it overcame death.
J R R Tolkien's translations of these 14th century poems bring them to life with the vividness that is the hallmark of 'The Lord of the Rings'. The poems are movingly read by Terry Jones, medieval scholar and former Monty Python's Flying Circus acrobat.
Other J R R Tolkien titles available from HarperCollins Audio Books include
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' (translated by J R R Tolkien)
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