Monday, 7 November 2016

Gawain, 390 - 416, the knight is kind of into Gawain (and a defence of Wynn)

Some of you may have noticed, in the first stanza of Gawain, the line;

"On many banks full broad Britain he sets
with wynne."

Which is unusual for this translation since, though I always try to keep the sonic structure of a line as close to the original as I can without making it unreadable, I generally don't leave in full old-english words that are no longer in any use.

'Wynne' in this case, means 'Joy', but 'Wyn' or 'Wen' is also an old letter in our alphabet, and one we should have back.




Though they aren't exactly the same, 'Wynn' is essentially double-you or 'W'. It fell out of use in english around the 15th century, which I believe was a deep mistake on our part.

Reasons its better than 'W':

- It has a deeper resonance, it relates to the old rune meaning 'joy' which opens up a whole range of poetic and literary possibilities in which the letter, the sound of the letter and the name of the letter can all play a part.

- It is a one-syllable name that matches the sound of the letter, like every other fucking letter that isn't double-you. Why the fucking fuck should it take so fucking time to say "double-you" when you could just say "wynne", which is both a more beautiful sound but also more efficient! How often do you get beauty and usability combined in one thing? We had it and we threw it away to use that shitty printers-error frankenletter "double-you".

(Every time you give someone a web address you would be saying "Wynne, wynne, wynne" which would mean "Joy, joy, joy.")

- It has a cool old sign that, crucially, isn't two other fucking letters from the alphabet stapled together like a pair of idiots. IT'S LITERALLY JUST TWO U'S. It's like what a fucking moron would do if you asked them to design a new letter.

I also want Thorn back.


(Your daily Gawain below.)



"By God," said the green knight, "Sir Gawain, I like
That I shall have from your hand what I here request.
And you have readily rehearsed, by reason full true,
Cleanly all the covenant that I the king asked,
Save that you shall commit sir, by your clean name,
That you shall seek me yourself, where-so you hope
I may exist upon earth, and entertain repayment
Of what you deal me to-day before these dukes rich."
"How do I find you," said Gawain, "where is your place?
No map shows your mansion, by him that me made
I know not thee, knight, thy court nor thy name
But teach me truly thereto, and tell me where you live
And I shall work all my wit to win my way there,
And that I swear thee for certain, by my sacred cinquefoil."
"That is enough in New Year; it needs no more,"
Said the guy in green to kind Gawain.
"If I thee tell truly, when I have had the tap
And thou smoothly has smited me, I'll swiftly thee teach
Of my house and my home and my own name,
Then may you ask for my kindness, and contract keep;
And if I spend no speech, then speeds you the better,
For you may live in your land as long as you like,
Enough!
Take now thy grim tool to thee
And lets see how you knocks,"
"Gladly, just my cup of tea,"
Smiled Gawain; his axe he strokes.

1 comment:

  1. I always find it funny that it is faster to pronounce World Wide Web than its abbreviation ...

    ReplyDelete

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