Hvítasunnubrúðhlaupin – Philip Larkin’s best known poem found to be based on previously lost Old Norse manuscript

The poet Philip Larkin might be said to have been the bard of modern Britain, narrating the post-war transition from a boasting, marauding Empire to a world of rickety consumer goods, stale cigarette smoke – and everywhere, the smell of mildew and rain on concrete. But startling new research has revealed that this most modern of poets apparently based his best known poem on a medieval manuscript. In fact, “The Whitsun Weddings”, published in 1964, is not an original composition at all but a translation of a much older work entitled Hvítasunnubrúðhlaupin.

Professor Kaj Kage of the Leyton Technical Institute identified the manuscript: “Every now and then my bookseller, Johnny Openhouse on Paradise Street, gives me a tip …

LingoLit: A Linguist’s Quarantine Reading Guide

The Wug Test 1

Blogger’s note:
I originally wrote this blog entry with the intention of asking the editors of Lingoblog to release it shortly before the summer holidays. However, since then another situation has arisen, which to an even higher degree seems to leave people needing something good to read, so I’ve decided instead to submit this entry now, as a guide to quarantine rather than summer reading. I urge you to consider it a bit of tragic irony when I refer to the holidays below, rather than to the current situation.
The libraries here in Denmark may be closed, but there’s still audio- and e-books as well as online bookstores that are accessible without venturing into the public and risking contamination. I