The Wanderer

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Using one example from each poem, compare the ways in which the following poems find artistic value, even beauty, in sorrow and longing: "The Wanderer," "The Seafarer," "The Wife's Lament."

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Rebecca Wright eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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All three of these poems focus on sorrow and longing, and each poet/speaker is able to find some artistic beauty within those topics.

"The Wanderer": The quote below discusses suffering and loneliness, and suggests that while feeling the effects of suffering and loneliness, the Wanderer seems to hold on to cherished memories of a lord, and by extension, the feeling of belonging to a group. This emphasis on memory seems to romanticize the feeling of loneliness.

He knows how it is to suffer long
Without the beloved wisdom of a friendly lord.
Often when sorrow and sleep together
Bind the lonely warrior
It seems in his heart that he holds and kisses
The lord of the troop and lays on his knee
His head and hands as he had before
In times gone by at the gift giver's throne.

"The Seafarer": This quote again looks at loneliness, this time the loneliness associated with the sea. The speaker copes with this by personifying the sounds of the creatures around him. While loneliness is sad, the idea of being...

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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