In this Book
- Signs that Sing: Hybrid Poetics in Old English Verse
- Published by: University Press of Florida
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In Signs that Sing, Heather Maring argues that oral tradition, religious ritual, and literate Latin-based practices are dynamically interconnected in Old English poetry. Resisting the tendency to study these different forms of expression separately, Maring contends that poets combined them in hybrid techniques that were important to the early development of English literature.
Maring examines a variety of texts, including Beowulf, The Battle of Maldon, The Dream of the Rood, and the Advent Lyrics, and shows how themes from oral tradition became metaphors for sacred concepts in the hands of Christian authors and how oral performance and religious liturgy influenced written poetry. The result, she demonstrates, is richly elaborate verse filled with shared symbols and themes that a wide range of audiences could understand and find meaningful.