anglo saxon hoard

An Old English word for library was “bōchord”, which literally means “book hoard”, and honestly I really think we should go back to saying that because not only does it sound really fucking cool, but it also sort of implies that librarians are dragons.


Viking hoard artefacts, weapons, beads and gaming counters at the ‘Vikings: Rediscover The Legend’  exhibition at The Yorkshire Museum, York, 30.5.17. This is the largest exhibition of key Viking artefacts and items gathered in the UK to date.

I had a bar mitzvah and so learned enough Hebrew to become, some time later, interested in ancient biblical poetry. This was compressed in expression, heavy with alliteration and assonance and lacking in rhyme but with a strong break in the middle of the poetic unit due to parallelism.  As I wrote in an essay on translating the Psalms, the English poetic form closest to ancient Hebrew prosody is the old Anglo-Saxon alliterative meter, which draws on the curt Anglo-Saxon word-hoard, not the Latinate multisyllabic words introduced later, and has a strong caesura in the middle of the line.

David Curzon on translating Old English poetry, from The Word Exchange: Anglo-Saxon poems in translation