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Thanks are due to the editors of the following publications in which extracts from this translation first appeared: Joining Music with Reason (ed. Christopher Ricks, Waywiser Press, 2010), Modern Poetry in Translation, The Rialto and The Times Stephen Spender Prize 2008.

I am indebted to the authors of several distinguished translations and editions of Pearl, most notably the fine verse translation by Professor Marie Borroff in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Patience and Pearl (Norton, 2001) and that of J.R.R. Tolkien in his Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl and Sir Orfeo (ed. C. Tolkien, HarperCollins, 2006), together with the excellent The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript edited by Malcom Andrew and Ronald Waldron (University of Exeter Press, 2002), and E.V. Gordon’s scholarly single-poem edition Pearl (Oxford University Press, 1953).

I am extremely grateful to Arts Council England, South East for their generous financial assistance and as always to Keiren Phelan for his unstinting support and enthusiasm. Thanks are also due for the kind hospitality offered to me at Hawthornden Castle during my stay as Hawthornden Fellow in 2009. Most especially and above all, I am indebted to Bernard O’Donoghue for all his invaluable advice, scholarship and encouragement, and for the memorable gift of his own copy of A.C. Cawley’s supremely useful 1962 Dent/Everyman edition.


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