Don’t forget to whistle while you work…


This is an easy, optional extra : we owe the monks!


(i) Look up a Saint online : there are thousands of ‘em. There are some good tales, you’ll find one that appeals.

(ii) as before, write a short account of a life, or, as before, concentrate on one telling event from the Saint’s life.

(iii) make your Saxon poem as before, alliterating, half-lining, kenning-ing and … (extra thing that makes this exercise important)

(iv) make your Saint a Hero. Try to make his/her battles brave, deeds mighty, even kindness like a treasure-giver, and saintliness not weedy but like Superman. If some Anglo-Saxon poetry WAS originally Pagan then the transformation the monks made when copying is pretty canny : as explained before, the neat fitting in of pagan values and social structures with Christian values and hierarchies is impressive.

example :

(i) St Hubert            (ii) bit of a gent, liked hunting, went out one day, chased a big stag, cornered it, it turned and there was a shiny cross between its antlers, Hubert got down on his knees and was saintly from then on!

(iii) and (iv)

Hubert the hero                               hunted the hart

but galloping on Good Friday                       the gaudy gentleman

spurred after a stag                                       that stopped on the stone-way

and turned on the thane                                     with a timely truth

a cross crowning                                   its crooked antlers

and Hubert hailed it                                   with a humble hand

put off his pride                                       and prayed in the pinewood


So now you know everything. Practise makes perfect. Think about what you like best, do some more, concentrate on what works well, and think about how to present what you write – there are so many creative ways (from sky-writing to shells on the beach, to origami boats with the poems on them set out to sea, to all kinds of calligraphy, self-publishing, readings, setting to music and singing, poems-in-a-bottle, etc etc).

Week 7, next and last, you’re on your own!

Remember to send any work that you would like looked at to