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Issue 10 – Easter 2022


The Dream of the Rood

A new translation.


The translation of poetry is a vexed business. The task of the poet is to find that frisson between the connotative and the denotative, the space where language’s meaning and language’s sound come together in a resonance—either harmonic or dissonant—that brings us very near the heart of things. Sense and sound both matter, are, in fact, the matter of a poem. When one is changed, so is the other. 

Faced with the task of translating a poem as ancient and renowned as “The Dream of the Rood,” there are any number of reasons to hesitate. Quite a number of good translations already exist, and a few are excellent. So why bother?

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About the author

Tessa Carman

Tessa Carman is a contributor to Fare Foreward, Mere Orthodoxy, and Ekstasis. 

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