Type of Document Thesis Author Thomas, Carla Maria URN etd-11072008-111535 Title "Poema Morale": An Edition From Cambridge, Trinity College B. 14. 52 Degree Master of Arts Department English, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Elaine Treharne Committee Chair David Johnson Committee Member Nancy Warren Committee Member Richard Emmerson Committee Member Keywords
- Early Middle English
- Homiletic Poems
- Poetic Homilies
- Richard Morris
- Poema Morale
Date of Defense 2008-10-27 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis thesis is primarily focused on my modern edition and translation of “Poema Morale,” a late twelfth-century English homiletic poem. Not since Richard Morris’ great contribution to the study of early medieval literature has anyone produced a full translation of the poem from any of its seven manuscript variants. Because Morris worked 140 years ago when editorial and translation philosophies and practices were vastly different than twenty-first-century policies, a modern translation and edition are necessary, especially for an introductory student in medieval literature.
I begin my thesis with a four-part Introduction that covers the manuscripts in which “Poema Morale” is found; an analysis of Richard Morris’ edition and translation for a better understanding of Victorian practices and the poem; an overview of the history of the homiletic tradition that led to the production of this poetic homily; and finally, a discussion of textual variance and how our perception and understanding of “variance” dictates our interpretation and editing of a text. Following the Introduction, I present my Editorial and Translation Policies so that the reader may understand why I made certain choices. My edition and translation follow the explanation of my policies and appear alongside one another. I include endnotes on the text for further explanation of certain editorial or translation decisions that I made. Finally, I include my diplomatic transcription in the Appendix so that the reader may see the manuscript through my eyes. Although first-hand experience with the manuscript can never be replaced, it is my hope that my diplomatic transcription will not only bring the reader closer to the manuscript but will also provide further insight into my editorial decisions.
Having never undertaken such a tremendous task, I brought with me the beliefs I formed during my own beginning in the study of medieval literature. I began my medieval studies only two and a half years ago with a total of six courses, and my own frustrations with editions and translations led me to the desire to edit and translate the texts for myself. Through this thesis, I hope to present a modern edition and translation of a pivotal piece of early Middle English literature often forgotten in the medieval literary canon and, thus, the classroom.
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