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Kennings. Introduction to Anglo Saxon!!. Kennings. A kenning is a literary device in which a poetic phrase substitutes for a noun. In the best kennings, one element of the phrase will create a striking, unexpected comparison.

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kennings

Kennings

Introduction to Anglo Saxon!!

kennings1
Kennings
  • A kenning is a literary device in which a poetic phrase substitutes for a noun. In the best kennings, one element of the phrase will create a striking, unexpected comparison.
  • Often used in Anglo-Saxon poetry and especially in Beowulf, a kenning provides powerful imagery that would help the audience focus on the words of the scop or poet telling the story. A kenning also allows the scop some variety, so words don’t become overused.
take a guess and make a match
Take a Guess.. And make a match!

sky-candle

swan-road

stout-hearted

battle sweat

light-of-battle

helmet bearers

giver of gold

dwelling place

storm of swords

battle

blood

brave

home

king

the sea

the sun

sword

warriors

kennings2
Kennings
  • Finally, Anglo-Saxon poetry depended heavily on alliteration, and some kennings provided additional alliteration.
  • When we translate these kennings from Anglo-Saxon, they lose some of their poetic quality because the sound changes. For example, the alliteration may disappear.
create your own
Create Your Own
  • Create 5 of your own Kennings.
  • Make sure that you have the answers for the Kennings readily available.