by J J Cohen
I was early to campus this morning in order to prep for my Chaucer class and get some paperwork off my desk. Because I'd been up late last night at a farewell dinner (for the Scots-Asian writer and polymath Suhayl Saadi, who has been in residence at GW this month), and because the day is dark and the rain cold, I stopped to get coffee before heading across H St to my office. As I was sleepily wiping drips from my overfilled cup, a young man raced over and said "Professor Cohen, do your remember me from Myths of Britain?"
"I've been up all night," he declared "reading translations of the Battle of Brunanburh."
"Wow. You're hardcore." Then it hit me. "We didn't read Brunanburh in that class."
"I know. But I've been kind of obsessed with Old English since we read Beowulf. Look, I've been writing my own poetry about it."
He showed me a notebook page filled with alliterative rumination on the weight of history and the work of art. "You made my day," I told him. "You really made my day."