Medieval Poetry Project

Introduction to Our Translations & Recitations of Medieval Verse

Translating a poem is a tall order. There are many factors to consider and issues which must be negotiated in the process. Which is preferable—literal accuracy or stylistic approximation? What does it even main to be “faithful” to an original text? This is a forum for poetic translation and a locus amoenus for both scholarly and artistic interpretations of medieval verse.

Here, modern translators from the Medieval Institute and other relevant departments at Notre Dame will share their translations of medieval songs and poems, digitally displayed alongside the original texts. When this project began, the focus was on Old English poetry; however, we are happy to have recently expanded the scope of the project to include lays and songs composed in other medieval languages. Recitations of both the original medieval verse and modern English translation will be featured as complementary audio files, accompanying each respective text.

We hope that you enjoy this audio-visual poetic experience and perhaps walk away with an ear for the language and a deeper appreciation of medieval verse.

Richard Fahey

Editor of the Medieval Poetry Project
PhD Candidate
Department of English
Notre Dame University

Explore our Medieval Verses:

London, British Library, MS Harley 4571; fol. 45r.