Anonymous: Resignation

(500 words)
  • Philip A. Shaw (University of Leicester)

Resignation is the title commonly given to an Old English poem which survives only in two fragments in the Exeter Book. This title is, however, merely one given by modern editors, and therefore indicates not how the Anglo-Saxon author of the poem, or his or her audiences, understood the poem, but how the modern editors themselves understand it. The most recent editor of this text has chosen to entitle it Contrition, rather than Resignation, while it has also been referred to as The Exile's Prayer. Either alternative is preferable to Resignation, for the poem consists of the narrator's address to God, in which he expresses contrition for his many sins, and asks God for forgiveness, as well as …

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Shaw, Philip A.. "Resignation". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 November 2002
[, accessed 31 August 2014.]