Picture of author.

Gawain Poet

Autor(a) de Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

15+ Works 13,017 Membros 137 Reviews 7 Favorited

About the Author

Disambiguation Notice:

(eng) The "Gawain Poet", or less commonly the "Pearl Poet", (fl. late 14th century), is the name given to the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Its author appears also to have written the poems Pearl, Patience, and Cleanness; some scholars suggest the author may also have composed Saint Erkenwald. [Wikipedia]

Obras de Gawain Poet

Associated Works

Masters of British Literature, Volume A (2007) — Contribuinte — 21 cópias


Conhecimento Comum

Nome padrão
Gawain Poet
Outros nomes
Gawain Poet
Pearl Poet
Data de nascimento
ca. 14th c.
Data de falecimento
ca. 14th c.
País (para mapa)
England, UK
Aviso de desambiguação
The "Gawain Poet", or less commonly the "Pearl Poet", (fl. late 14th century), is the name given to the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Its author appears also to have written the poems Pearl, Patience, and Cleanness; some scholars suggest the author may also have composed Saint Erkenwald.




I read this as it was featured in the BBC series "The Art that made us" and I've decided to try and read all the text items contained in the series. Excellent series, btw, well worth a watch.
This features in the programme of the middle ages & the black death. It one of those that almost got away, surviving in one single manuscript. Believed to be written by the same author as Gawain and the green Knight, its contemporary with Chaucer, but written in a northern dialect. This translation is by SImon Armitage, who has also translated Gawain & the alliterative Morte d'Arthur.
I quite like alliterative poetry over the rhyme at the end of a line style, something about the rhythm of the words carries you along. Although in this case the subject of the text was distinctly less appealing. The surmise is that a jeweler is bemoaning the loss of a peal and it slowly becomes clear he is discussing a person, not a jewel. He lies down in the garden where he lost her, goes to sleep and a lot of the poem reports a dream. He is transported to a paradise and across the river he sees his lost pearl and talks to her. The first portion, about how he lost her and his grief is poignant, the middle third a bit of a lecture in religious thought and how he should accept his lot, the final third he wakes and is in the garden, but feels that he has both lost her all over again and some consolation.
For the subject matter of the middle portion detracted from the experience, as it felt overly didactic. I sill like the form of the poem, just less keen on its subject matter.
The introduction on the poem's rhyme scheme and how the author approached the translation was interesting and added to my appreciation of the structure of the work.
… (mais)
Helenliz | outras 5 resenhas | May 19, 2024 |
Apparently, I read this book back in 2012. And I have no recollection of it. But thats okay, because this wonderful version translated by Simon Armitage and it was a delight to read. The story itself is typical for the time. There shouldn't be any unexpectedness. Sir Gawain is a good knight, but the youngest and least experienced of King Arthur's Elite. When the Green Knight barges in on Christmas and offers up a challenge, Its Gawain who takes the mantle, because he is the least important of the group and his death wilil not be a big loss to the group. The challenge is simple, the Green Knight will take one blow with an axe by a round table knight, but one from now, that knight will have to find the Green Man, and receive a blow from him. Of course, Gawain prevails, but not without difficulty.

Where the book shines is the poetry - Emotion is clear - from how important Gawain's faith is to him, to the temptation of his new friends wife. All of these tests are to prove Gawain worthy, and he passes, but is not without scars (or green girdle, in this case).

As for this version, I quite liked being able to see Middle English compared with Modern English. Its such a strange thing - I suspect if I heard it spoken, it would sound like English, but with a large chunk of gibberish thrown in. I also want to say that this specific translation has only a few pages that describe the book - how it was found, how it was received, and what the current thoughts are on the story's author. I highly recommend it.
… (mais)
TheDivineOomba | outras 103 resenhas | Feb 2, 2024 |
I am not much of a poetry fan. I understand it, and I know that it can have some serious power in that condensed and emotional way over the standard prose. But I just dont like it as much as prose. For me poetry is always something that gets way to over analyzed, every word, every line, every rhyme looked at from hundreds of directions and always presented as something so sublime and hidden in meanings that this [over]analysis always made reading poetry a choir. And sometimes, just sometimes, we get poetry cloaked in old-speech-of-ages-past and soon the words and the play with them takes precedence and I have a feeling we forget what the poem is all about.

So it surprises me greatly when I come across a poem of old but presented in a way one would expect to be the case in the past. Because while rich vocabulary was required to make the story gilded, interesting, intellectual (hey, they had egos then too) so on, main purpose of the ballads and poem's was to tell a story, not necessarily teach but entertain and, especially when it comes to poetry, try to throw some good or bad things around - elements playing in the background and understandable to everyone but hidden, made a little bit difficult to point at (which would be the case with standard prose).

But mainly, this was box-office of the day - stories of daring, adventure and all those things that are valued in life as it was then (and to be honest as it is today).

And this is where I find this adaptation (by Bernard O'Donoghue) to be exquisite one. Adaptation is written in English that is understandable today and through it one can see with the inner eye a bard comfortably seated by the fire in deep, wet, snowy night, telling a story with deep but calming voice, of early challenge of Sir Gawain (since he is rather young in here, this looks like a very start of his knightly career).

Structure of this poem is very clean cut - it interweaves several story lines into a single one without losing the focus and images flash in front of the reader's inner eye like scenes from Excalibur. I find this very interesting because even today some writers get lost in their stories and take thousands of pages. Here entire setup is less than hundred pages and it keeps you glued to the very end.
It is so easy to imagine damp, winter days with frost and ice on which horse's shoes echo like it is walking on steel, fog and low set sun that shines almost bloody red through layers of clouds and mist. Even when we are talking of winter nature, it always seems to be rich in color for the main action events, green color [of Gawain's opponent] especially so striking in contrast to the grayish environments, and richly colored castle environments and ladies outfits.

Story itself is given in the brief description of the book so wont go into details here because there are some twists and turns that I do not want to spoil.

As I said I go by the simplest approach to poetry, and for me poem resonates in a way that in life ideals are good guidance, but to succeed and actually live ones life richly and not waste it one must stand by his word, accept that we never know where life will take us, we need to keep the eye on the ball as they say and not allow distractions to cause unnecessary hazards and finally give our best to survive, use everything that can be an advantage because there is no difference if man dies like martyr or in a fight to live - in both cases he is dead but in the latter case he will at least give his best to prevent loss of his life. As they say failure is failure but failure without trying is the failure.

And I think above is confirmed by reactions of everyone Sir Gawain talks to after his adventure - they are touched by the young, promising, knight and chose to help him understand wasting one life is not a way to go [in life].

As I said, beautiful adventure, with very lean text and structure, trimmed to the maximum effect on the listeners/readers. What can I say, poem and adaptation to my taste :)

Highly recommended.
… (mais)
Zare | outras 103 resenhas | Jan 23, 2024 |
ryantlaferney87 | outras 5 resenhas | Dec 8, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

J. R. R. Tolkien Translator
Marie Borroff Translator, Editor
Marie Borroff Translator
Simon Armitage Translator
A. C. Cawley Editor, Translator
R. M. Wilson Introduction
Kenneth Hare Translator
Brian Stone Translator
Christopher Tolkien Editor, Preface
Diana Sudyka Illustrator
John Ridland Translator
William Vantuono Translator
Frederic Lawrence Illustrator
Fritz Kredel Illustrator
M. R. Ridley Translator
Keith Harrison Translator
Swava Harasymowicz Cover artist
Helen Cooper Introduction
John Gardner Translator
E. V. Rieu Translator
W. S. Merwin Translator
Gwyn Jones Translator
Burton Raffel Translator
Terry Jones Narrator
Pauline Baynes Cover artist
I.L. Gordon Contributor
John Howe Cover artist
Ad Putter Editor


Also by

Tabelas & Gráficos