Ac yete amiddes hem ful right
The quen was oway y-twight,
With fairi forth y-nome.
Men wist never wher sche was bicome.*
Medieval English poetry often seems to be written in a different, incomprehensible language. And yet, the poetry of the fourteenth century fundamentally shaped not only the entirety of English literary tradition but also the way that we speak English today. Join the award-winning faculty of the UC Davis English department to discuss medieval poetry and the history of the English language. Using evocative, intriguing Middle English texts, this workshop will explore the history of the language and even teach you to read and recite a medieval poem in its authentic style of pronunciation. No prior experience or knowledge necessary; just bring your curiosity about history and poetry.
“But right away, from the midst of all of them, the queen was snatched, seized away by an enchantment. Men never knew where she had gone” (Sir Orfeo, early fourteenth century, lines 191-94)