Tag Archives: elegy

Sea-birds and Wanderlust

Species: Several, most importantly seagull (Larus argentatus) and cuckoo (Cuculus canorus).

Source: Two Old English lyric elegies: ‘The Seafarer’ and ’The Wanderer’.

Date: Seafarer c.850, Wanderer c.900 AD. (Klinck, 1992:13-21)

Highlights: Tolkien’s totally stole the idea of “sea-longing” from medieval poetry.

Now I’m not saying Tolkien was a sneaking-snaking-snarer who purposefully snuck medieval literature into his stories to educate people, but, well, they didn’t call him Professor for nothing. Photograph by Julian Nitzsche CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Now I’m not saying Tolkien was a sneaking-snaking-snarer who purposefully snuck medieval literature into his stories to educate people, but, well, they didn’t call him Professor for nothing.
Photograph by Julian Nitzsche CC-BY-SA 3.0.

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Sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in ‘Canu Heledd’ (the Singing of Heledd)

SUMMARY

sea eagle fishing

Sea eagle by Jacob Spinks. Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Species mentioned: Two bloodthirsty white tailed (sea) eagles (H. albicilla).

Source: ‘Canu Heledd’, a depressing but beautiful Welsh cycle of poetry.

Date of Source: Most likely c.850-900 A.D. but uncertain. Manuscript date: 1250.

Highlights: eagles eat the carrion of dead soldiers. Two eagles in particular seem to embody the genius loci (spirit of the place) where they live. They are seen in coastal woods, eating carrion and fish like real life sea eagles.

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