Something My Father-in-law reminded me of the other day....

One of my most precious memories of the time with my wife who passed in September 2015, was several years ago. We were taking a road trip. I believe that it was one to see my family in Alabama, with a side trip to Memphis to see Elvis' mansion and take in some blues. So, we're like gonna be on the road for hours and hours. We had plenty of music, via an mp3 player and an FM transmitter that it plugged into so we could listen through the car speakers. Normal people driving across country are constantly looking for strong stations. We, being contary folk, were looking for the deadest channels we could find so they wouldn't interfere with our little tiny transmitter.

Anyway, in addition to lots of tunes, we brought along a book. Beowulf, as translated by Seamus Heaney. As we drove along, we took turns reading it aloud to each other. It was awesome. She read aloud better than me, but I did my best :-). Beowulf was not initially composed as a book, to be read silently to oneself. The difference between just reading it, and hearing it aloud cannot be over stated. The book contained the modern english translation on one page, with the original old english facing opposite, so you could compare the two. Mr Heaney's translation was, in my not so humble opinion excellent. He strove to maintain the mater as best he could, to maintain the flavor of the original, while eshewing anachronisms to make it be both understandable, and yet at the same time give as much of the flavor of the original feel as possible.

Dee was able to read some of it in the original as we drove along as well. English has drifted and changed far too much in the thousand years since it was put to words for it to really be understandable, but you could =tell= after hearing it, that the translation was a good faith effort to hew to the original.

To any one out there, who like a good story, and finds themselves faced with the time to encompass the reading of it, I'd most strongly recommend it. There is a reason Beowulf has stood alone as the oldest story known of the english language.

The time we spent in this endevour is something I'll cherish forever.