I found the depiction of Wyrd in these poems absolutely fascinating. Fate seems to only be thought of as something relentless and uncontrollable. The narrators in both The Wanderer and The Seafarer woefully succumb to what they feel Wyrd has planned for them, as she is “fully fixed” (41). The preoccupation with Fate’s intentions, and why she allows so many troubles to overwhelm the world, seems to be a trend in most of the elegies, even though some speakers are able to come to some sort of acceptance about the inevitability of Wyrd through their personal revelations about God.
The Ruin was my favorite of the elegies. As the text explains, I really appreciate the physical “decay” of the poem, both the unintentional and intentional. I would be interested to see the look of the original manuscript. This elegy also seems to be one that, in my opinion, best describes the ruthlessness of Wyrd on the physical world. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why other speakers are able to find solace with God – he represents something intangible, and thereby is unable to succumb to the Ruin of what beauty Earth and Man creates.
Overall, I found these elegies to be all quite beautiful, even though they are rather depressing at times. They certainly evoke emotions of sadness, pity, and even triumph in modern day readers, showing yet again the transcendence of certain emotions through time.
Taylor I definitely agree with your last paragraph. These poems were incredibly evocative and one such feeling that I felt strongly was a sense of longing, almost of “wanderlust.” The Seafarer elegy in particular produced this feeling, “my heart’s desire urges my spirit time and again to travel, so that I might seek a foreign land somewhere far from here.” Considering the nature of these elegies as all being from an outsider perspective, this predominant emotion of longing follows logically.
I noticed the wyrd in relation to a higher power. The notion of wyrd often used the same language and description as those in reference to a Creator or God. Therefore essentially it seemed to me like fate and a higher power were almost interchangeable. Usually these two concepts are viewed as mutually exclusive, indeed in Catholic teaching fate is pagan because it devalues the idea of free will. While the association between wyrd and a creator alters throughout the poems, there seems to be a connection in all.