Another great poetry must read includes Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Sir Gawain – in lieu of his liege-lord King Arthur – takes the King’s place in a Christmas-tide jest with a supernatural being known only as the ‘Green Knight’. The Green Knight – after being beheaded by Sir Gawain – reclaims his severed head to proclaim loudly to Arthur’s court that he will await Sir Gawain’s arrival at the Green Chapel a twelvemonth and a day from today to return the blow: before galloping precipitately away.
When the time comes for Gawain to depart Camelot to seek out the Green Chapel, he is somewhat apprehensive. Riding off to begin his quest, his mind seethes with unanswered questions:
- Is his quest a supernatural adventure? A crazed joke? An elaborate ruse? And regardless of whichever it may turn out to be –
- What infernal power lies behind it? And for what dark purpose?
Want to know more?
- Read the original Middle English text online (with notes): Toronto Libraries online | Internet Archive
- Read Kline’s modern English blank verse translation
- Read Lewis’s excellent modern English rhymed verse retelling