“The Wife’s Lament” in Supernatural Tales

My story “The Wife’s Lament” is available now in the magazine Supernatural Tales #24, a fine journal edited by David Longhorn. When I first read the poem from which the story borrows its name and themes and imagery, I was fascinated by its weirdness and ambiguity and wanted to write a story about it for a long time before the right tale finally found me. Years ago, I translated the poem myself from the Old English (roughly), and bits of that translation appear in the story. Here is one translation (not mine), but the thing about this poem is that modern English can’t do it justice, and what you don’t get from reading anyone’s translation is the confusion in the poem. It is really not clear, in the Old English, whether there is one man or two and who has “buried” her and whether that is literal or figurative–is this the lament of a dead woman, or is she still alive? What exactly has happened? The poem, in its original language, raises more questions than it answers. This might not be the case if we were native speakers of Old English; some of the confusion is over issues of syntax and word choice, and we don’t have any early medieval Anglo Saxons hanging around that we can check with. Go here to hear a reading of the poem in the original Old English.

My version of “The Wife’s Lament” is set in modern times. I really love this story; I hope you do too.

You can also read fiction from Stephen Goldsmith, Jane Jakeman, John Llewellyn Probert, Sean Logan, Michael J. Abolafia, and Sam Dawson (who also illustrated the cover for the ebook) as well as an assortment of reviews. The magazine is available in both print and ebook formats.

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