Ex Libris Kirkland

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Subtitle A verse translation of Beunans Meriasek
Translator Myrna Combellack
First Written 1504
Genre Poetry
Origin Cornwall
Publisher Dyllansow Truran
ISBN-10 1850220395
ISBN-13 978-1850220398
My Copy library paperback
First Read September 11, 2013

The Camborne Play

This is a new translation (new like, 1985) of a very old morality play cycle. It's built for a 2-day festival, with several interlocking plays nested together and performed over the course of the holiday weekend. The primary play is about the life of St. Meriasek, a Cornish saint. Intercut with that is a bit about St. Silvester (the pope at the time of Constantine), and there's a tiny third play squeezed in as well.

It's formally interesting because of this structure, but the translation is so colloquial that it lacks any . . . poetry. That said, it's not like mystery plays survived on their literary merit, and they were written to be read aloud, and LOUDLY. It definitely fares better when I annoy my family by reading it out.

The Meriasek is really fast-paced and interesting, and I would absolutely go see it live if it were ever actually performed.

Noted on September 11, 2013

Ah! Thou dost not understand
The law quite as thou shouldst do,
Of the glorious Birth and
The Passion of Jesus too.
Here on this earth,
The sun shines, and the glass will stand
The rays passing through - thus planned
God above, and by his hand
The Holy Spirit was manned.
He was conceived, and his birth
Like the clear glass, made of sand,
Witnesses its truth and worth.

Quoted on September 11, 2013

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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