Oral-Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry

@article{Magoun1953OralFormulaicCO,
  title={Oral-Formulaic Character of Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry},
  author={Francis Peabody Magoun},
  journal={Speculum},
  year={1953},
  volume={28},
  pages={446 - 467}
}
IN the course of the last quarter-century much has been discovered about the techniques employed by unlettered singers in their composition of narrative verse. Whereas a lettered poet of any time or place, composing (as he does and must) with the aid of writing materials and with deliberation, creates his own language as he proceeds, the unlettered singer, ordinarily composing rapidly and extempore before a live audience, must and does call upon ready-made language, upon a vast reservoir of… 
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    Swa wuldres Weard wordum seegde, Meotod mann-cynnes, &r on morgen, P1Ts-1e Dryhten God of dea6e aras
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          Jul 675 on swan-rade; Bwf 1429 on segl-rade
            Sw(a sceal man d6n; cp. 2066 Swa sceal m'eg d6n, 2590 swa sceal x'ghwel6 mann. 21b Cp
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              Bwf 1588 hraw wide sprang
                Hwaet, we hierdon oft / baet se halige wer
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                  • Bwf
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