An English In Kentucky


















Sunday September 9th 2012    Tim Candler

    The poem I was once forced to memorize contains the line "He first created for the children of men heaven as a roof..."  Some have recorded this line as "He first created the heavens as the highest roof for the children of men..."  I never really went beyond the phrase "heaven as a roof,"  and much worse, in my mind the entire meaning of the verse slowly and over time had become "heaven is a roof," accompanied by the odd expletive that always accrue to memories of the detention room.

   I was always quite happy to think of the Venerable Bede pottering around writing his history.  And I was always quite happy to think of him as a man with a job in the clergy, rather than as some kind of religious nut job. Then I find out he didn't even write the poem I was forced to memorize.  Someone called Caedmon dreamed it first before he wrote it, and after writing it, he too became a 'zealous monk.'  Bede did no more to the poem than translate it from Anglo Saxon into Latin.  It's these sorts of little things that lead a person toward cynicism.

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