While the monks wrote and sang their hymns Caedmon just listened from the livestock pen where he watched the animals, jealously aware that he did not share their talent for music. All of that changed when he fell asleep in the barn one evening and was visited by an angel who asked him to sing a song about creation. He was doubtful, but as soon as he really tried Caedmon found out that he could write his own music. When he awoke he remembered all of it and he told the monks about his new poem.
The monks took him to the leader of their monastery, the abbess Hilda, and she gave him another assignment – this time he was asked to write a song about theology. (Also, did you know that women could be in charge of men in a medieval monastery? It’s true.) Caedmon wrote the song and abbess Hilda approved of it. She decided to make him a monk and bring him into the monastery to write music for the church instead of keeping the livestock. He is the earliest known poet in English history.
Here’s his poem in Old English, it’s fun to listen to it:
Thanks to MyStanzaChannel for post it.
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