Holden, the kid & The Wanderer

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  • 04 Nov 2012 at 10:22 am #2302


    In his final oration, Judge Holden evokes the ancient Old English poem The Wanderer, called the “meditations of a solitary exile on his past glories as a warrior…”

    Here are a few lines that appear toward the end of the poem followed by a particularly neat correspondence in the form of the judge’s words to the kid:

    A wise hero must realize
    how terrible it will be,
    when all the wealth of this world
    lies waste,
    as now in various places
    throughout this middle-earth
    walls stand,
    blown by the wind,
    covered with frost,
    storm-swept the buildings.
    The halls decay,
    their lords lie
    deprived of joy,
    the whole troop has fallen,
    the proud ones, by the wall.
    War took off some,
    carried them on their way,
    one, the bird took off
    across the deep sea,
    one, the gray wolf
    shared one with death,
    one, the dreary-faced
    man buried
    in a grave.
    And so He destroyed this city,
    He, the Creator of Men,
    until deprived of the noise
    of the citizens,
    the ancient work of giants
    stood empty.
    He who thought wisely
    on this foundation,
    and pondered deeply
    on this dark life,
    wise in spirit,
    remembered often from afar
    many conflicts,
    and spoke these words:

    Where is the horse gone? Where the
    Where the giver of treasure?
    Where the seats of the feast?
    Where the revels in the hall?

    Says Holden:
    Where is yesterday? Where is Glanton and Brown and where is the priest? He leaned closer> Where is Shelby, whom you left to the mercies of Elias in the desert, and where is Tate whom you abandoned in the mountains? Where are the ladies, ah the fair and tender llladies with whom you danced at the governor’s ball when you were a hero anointed with the blood of the enemies of the republic you’d elected to defend? And where is the fiddler and the dance? (BM 331)

    04 Nov 2012 at 10:41 am #2303


    Here is a link to a modern English translation of The Wanderer I quoted from in the opening post: http://www.anglo-saxons.net/hwaet/?do=get&type=text&id=Wdr

    04 Nov 2012 at 3:29 pm #2304

    “Where have all the soldiers gone? Gone to graveyards evveryone.” Except the Jedge, and he’s still dancing his naked war dance of ultimate nothingness. When will he ever learn? When will we ever learn?

    With bows to Pete Seeger and Joy Hickerson who wrote parts of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and to the Kingston Trio whose version of the song I like the best.

    04 Nov 2012 at 4:44 pm #2305


    Thanks to BobbyKnoxville for the memories.  Joe Hickerson claimed that Pete Seeger’s inspiration for “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” came from a Russian song that appears in And Quiet Flows The Don by Mikhail Sholokhov, translated by Stephen Gary (New York: Knopf, 1934, pp. 20-21).  Hickerson wrote several of the verses after hearing Pete’s rendition.

    The story is given in Sing Out!, February-March 1962, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 66-67.

    Pretty much the same information can be found in WikipediA:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_Have_All_the_Flowers_Gone%3F




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