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Pearl (Middle English Texts (Kalamazoo, Mich.).)
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Pearl (Middle English Texts (Kalamazoo, Mich.).)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  33 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Paperback, 110 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by Medieval Institute Publications (first published 2001)
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Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-class
I did not read this particular version, but I have just finished reading Pearl in Middle English for a class and it was gorgeous.
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Difficult to read because of the middle-english text, but with an effort it is enjoyable. Extraordinarily complex structure, with end rhyme, alliteration, concatenation, and an adherence to groups of 12 line stanzas. It also has a complex set of symbols, especially the pearl itself, which can simultaneously mean a real pearl, his daughter, the maiden, etc.

The narrator describes a vision he has in which he talks to a maiden (who is probably his dead daughter) and debates with her. She tells him o
J. Alfred
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Middle English is unbelievably difficult to read, but this edition fortunately came with really good glosses, so I was able to follow along pretty well. This comes from the 11th or 12th century, and it is kind of an extended meditation on the Pearl of Great Price (pearls of wisdom, the pearly gates, and all kinds of other pearls show up as well). It is stunningly beautiful at parts, and it is really neat to see a devotional work from so early on in our language.
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this poem. By far my favorite Medieval work (yes, better than Chaucer). The imagery was rich, the form was lovely and complex, but the content was incredible. Such wonderful explications of religious ideas and deep theology, and what seemed a shockingly modern, progressive and Universalist outlook on the afterlife. The Middle English is more-than-usually difficult but forces you to pay close attention and thus gives a sort of mandated meditation. So glad I read this.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is incredibly beautiful, even if hard to read.

At face value it is a meditation on Christianity, but there are almost infinite threads of allegory and metaphor coursing throughout the poem.

The only thing I have to compare it with is Spenser's Faerie Queene which is also heavily allegorical and moralizing, and indeed beautiful.

The entire poem (roughly 1100 lines) is available online in a glossed edition: Pearl
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