British Lit: The Wanderer: Ubi Sunt Poem Activity



I created this short poetry assignment to accompany my British Literature students’ reading of “The Wanderer.” Ubi sunt is a motif found in Anglo-Saxon poetry and students may be familiar with it as there is a scene in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers where Theoden is dressed for battle as he recites lines inspired by lines 86-94 of Burton Raffel’s translation of “The Wanderer.” For more on this part of the film, see this website.

My students enjoyed this short assignment as it allowed them to connect more personally with “The Wanderer.” Students wrote about lost sisterhood (after an older sister moved away from home), past basketball tournament wins, and other past glories of their high school careers.

On this handout, I’ve included directions, the lines from the poem with strike-through font where they will substitute their own information, as well as a mentor text I wrote to help them envision the motif in action.

I hope you enjoy this short poetry assignment! Visit my blog for other British Literature activities, resources, and lesson ideas.


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