Project Blog

Title Page

posted Apr 23, 2012, 2:47 PM by Molly Gavin   [ updated Apr 23, 2012, 2:47 PM ]


I've written the script for the title page of this project. I wrote the letters using a C-5, C-4, and C-3 nib dipped in watercolor ink. Both images were touched up in photoshop; the image on the left preserves the natural flow of the watercolor ink. 

Collaborations Presentation

posted Apr 22, 2012, 2:45 PM by Molly Gavin   [ updated Apr 22, 2012, 2:46 PM ]

I presented my work on this project at Smith College's 2012 Collaborations. This presentation gives a brief introduction into the philosophy that I have been examining, and shows some examples of decisions I have made in the translating process and how I have used the illustrations to support or augment those illustrations. I uploaded a copy of the presentation to Present.Me, a website that allows me to make an audio recording so the full presentation can be watched online. You can view the presentation on the Present.Me website, or by clicking the image below to go to the Translation Project page.


posted Apr 20, 2012, 9:47 AM by Molly Gavin   [ updated Apr 20, 2012, 9:47 AM ]

I have posted a more recent translation on the Dream of the Rood page.

    "It was years ago – I still remember – 
    that I was cut down at the forest’s edge, 
    dissevered from my roots. 
    Strong enemies seized me there, 
    made me into a spectacle, 
    they told me to raise up their criminals. 
    Men carried me on their shoulders, 
    and they set me on a hill; 
    those many enemies planted me there...."


posted Apr 18, 2012, 9:14 AM by Molly Gavin   [ updated Apr 18, 2012, 9:14 AM ]


Æt Foldan Scêatum

posted Feb 19, 2012, 1:43 PM by Molly Gavin   [ updated Feb 19, 2012, 2:09 PM ]

I've begun working on my first illustration – which is actually the second, ordinally. The full image will be 10" x 12", as depicted in the sketch on the left. The color was done with watercolor and black walnut ink.


This image is based on lines 6b-17 of the poem:

Eall †æt bêacen wæs
begoten mid golde; gimmas stôdon
fægere æt foldan scêatum, swylce †ær fife wæron 
uppe on †âm eaxlgespanne. Behêoldon †ær engel Dryhtnes ealle, 
fægere †urh for∂gesceaft. Ne wæs ∂ær hûru fracodes gealga, 
ac hine †ær behêoldon hâlige gâstas, 
men ofer moldan ond eall †êos mære gesceaft. 
Syllic wæs se sigebêam, ond ic synnum fâh, 
forwunded mid wommum. Geseah ic wuldres trêow 
wædum geweor∂od wynnum scînan, 
gegyred mid golde; gimmas hæfdon 
bewrigen weor∂lîce Wealdendes trêow. 

 All that tree-beacon 
was covered in gold; and gems stood 
beautiful at the reaches of the Earth, 
of which there were five up on the crossbeam. 
All the Lord’s angels watched there, 
fair for all eternity. 
That was surely not a bad-man’s gallows, 
for they saw it there, the holy spirits, 
the men on Earth, and all the glorious beings. 
Wondrous was this victory-tree, 
and I, marked with sin, 
was wounded with grave sores of guilt. 
I saw the glorious tree 
honored with adornments, shining with joys, 
adorned with gold; and gems nobly 
had covered that tree of the forest. 

Translation Progress

posted Feb 12, 2012, 1:49 PM by Molly Gavin   [ updated Feb 12, 2012, 1:49 PM ]

I have posted the full text of the poem in Old English along with my first draft of the translation – which is in progress and will be changing. Click below to view.

Title Sketch

posted Jan 27, 2012, 9:28 AM by Molly Gavin   [ updated Jan 29, 2012, 9:19 AM ]

I've uploaded a tentative sketch for the title lettering of the project. My intent is to find a script that recalls the insular and half-uncial scripts, that is nonetheless modern and easily legible. This script is stable – it has no slant, reminiscent of the standing tree or cross – and still fluid. It lends to small flourishes and can be decorated, but can also fit tightly into a large body of text. As I have drawn it here, the letters of the title intertwine just slightly, recalling the branch and knot motifs of early Insular art and illumination, also giving it a slightly mythical feel.  

Updated page: The Dream of the Rood (Home>Books>The Dream of the Rood)


posted Jan 26, 2012, 2:35 PM by Molly Letters   [ updated Jan 27, 2012, 9:29 AM by Molly Gavin ]

This blog is dedicating to tracking my progress through the Dream of the Rood project. Please view "The Dream of the Rood," the project home page, located here, to read my story about the inception of the project. As I work through the project, thoughts, images, and ideas that arise will be posted here, as well as in their permanent locations on the website. Have a look around, check back in through the semester, and enjoy!

Related pages:
The Dream of the Rood (Project Home)

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