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Pearl by The Gawain Poet

Pearl by The Gawain Poet is a beautifully crafted medieval poem that tells the story of a grieving father who mourns the loss of his young daughter, also named Pearl. The father falls asleep in a garden and dreams of a mystical journey to a distant shore where he encounters his daughter, who has become a pearl within the gates of a heavenly city.

The poem is written in a unique alliterative verse style, with rich imagery and symbolism that brings the dream world to life. The father's emotional journey is powerfully portrayed, and the themes of loss, redemption, and spiritual awakening are woven throughout the narrative.

The language of Pearl is lyrical and poignant, with a sense of timelessness that speaks to the universal experience of grief and longing. The poem explores the themes of faith, salvation, and the sanctity of life, while also delving into the complexities of human emotions and the mysteries of the afterlife.

Overall, Pearl is a hauntingly beautiful and thought-provoking work of poetry that is sure to resonate with readers who appreciate timeless literature and the power of storytelling.

Book Description:
Written in the 14th century by the Gawain poet, 'Pearl' is an elegiac poem reflecting on the death of a young daughter, pictured as a pearl lost in a garden. It is considered a masterpiece of Middle English verse, incorporating both the older tradition of alliterative poetry as well as rhyme, centered around the development of an intricately structured image. Sophie Jewett's translation from the Northern dialect of the original renders much of the poem's liveliness and beauty accessible to modern readers, whilst encouraging them to pursue their reading further, to read the original itself.

This recording is dedicated to the memory of Pearl Jean Shearman, 1914-2012.

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