Jacqueline A. Pollard

Modernisms, Museums, & Mingus

Random Art Shot: the Virgin Mary (with Unicorn accessory)

Posted by Jacqueline A. Pollard on April 19, 2015

The Virgin Mary has always fascinated me; I’m especially taken with her Medieval cult’s ubiquity. Here’s a piece from the late Middle Ages: it’s from The Annunciation with the Unicorn (c.1480)

 from The Annunciation with the Unicorn (c. 1480) Warsaw, National Museum

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The Virgin Mary in Anglo Saxon Culture

Posted by Jacqueline A. Pollard on April 18, 2015

An overview of the development of Marian cults in Anglo Saxon and early Medieval England.

Posted in Academia, Anglo Saxon, Literature, Marian Figures, Medieval, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

On Tereus, Procne, and Philomela in the Metamorphosis

Posted by Jacqueline A. Pollard on April 17, 2015

A brief paper on Ovid’s tale of the consequences of familial impiety.

Posted in Criticism, Literature, Mythology | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Unreasonable Satyr

Posted by Jacqueline A. Pollard on April 16, 2015

An essay on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester’s poem “A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind.”

Posted in 17th Century, Academia, Criticism, Literature, Poetry | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Random Shot: The Red Chair

Posted by Jacqueline A. Pollard on April 15, 2015


A cell at Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA.
(Creepy, no?)

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The Bracelet-Adorned Queen: The Virgin Mary in “Advent Lyric” IX

Posted by Jacqueline A. Pollard on April 15, 2015

Another older essay (and one of my favorites): an examination of the Virgin Mary in the Anglo Saxon Crist, Advent Lyric IX, lines 275-347. Abstracted:   The Advent Lyric’s Virgin offers a unique vision of Christ’s mother. Conventional wisdom in the early Church held the Virgin Mary in esteem for her purity, maternity, mercy, and, above all, her passivity in conforming to God’s will, and the Old English Advent Lyrics celebrates each of these characteristics; in the early lyrics she is wondered at for her chastity, for which Christ chooses her as a mother; she is conflated with–some might say objectified as–the precious holy city of Jerusalem; and she is presented as a weeping virgin lamenting her betrothed’s doubt over her pregnancy. In each of these, the Virgin illustrates the idealized vision of demure femininity, yet she grows progressively stronger–and more active–within the Lyrics. By the end of the seventh set of Lyrics, she has confronted Joseph’s fears and chastised him for questioning her purity; however, it is Lyric IX that exemplifies the Virgin’s full strength and agency. The poet presents Mary as an active participant in the Incarnation in a celebration of the Virgin as “the glory of the world.”

Despite the Patristic teachings that stress the Virgin’s characteristics of chastity, humility, and submission, the Advent Lyrics’ poet chose to present her as a victorious Anglo-Saxon queen who was no passive, cowering virgin when she was alerted to her divine pregnancy, but a willing agent who consciously and willingly dedicated herself to God. In exchange, she is offered the opportunity to bear the Christ child. Mary, in the perspective, exchanges her earthly potential for sacred maternity. The Virgin, then, becomes an active participant in the Incarnation as well as the propagation of Christianity. To a degree, she mirrors Christ’s role as heavenly hero–Mary is his warrior bride, daughter, and mother in one. As the heavenly consort and heiress, the Virgin is mistress of all the universe and both protector of and entrance to the heavenly city. As the holy mother, she the universal nurturer who offers spiritual nourishment and who intercedes between her Son and mankind. Although this section closes with a plea for Christ’s return, thus returning the focus to the Advent Lyrics’ overall theme of Christ’s promise, Mary’s significance in the Incarnation and afterward is not subverted, for the poet leaves no doubt that without this woman, who was altogether unique, the Incarnation would not have been possible. This conquering queen is the first true Anglo-Saxon heroine.

Posted in Academia, Anglo Saxon, Criticism, Literature, Marian Figures, Medieval, Poetry | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Origin of Violence: “Maxims I” and Beowulf

Posted by Jacqueline A. Pollard on April 15, 2015

I once wrote a essay and posted it to an old EarthLink site under my married name. I’ve just discovered that it’s been cited in Jeffery Hodges’s “Cain’s Fratricide: Original Violence as ‘Original Sin’ in Beowulf” and Paola Tornaghi’s “Biblical Echoes in Exeter Gnomes.” I figured that if it’s a helpful piece, I’d repost the essay here. Apologies for formatting issues.

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Posting All the Papers (Pollard papers, that is)

Posted by Jacqueline A. Pollard on April 15, 2015

I’ll be adding my academic papers to this site. There’s a variety of literary topics–I’m interested in several different periods, genres, and figures; some pieces are pretty polished while others remain rough. I certainly don’t claim that all (or any) are exceptional. My hope is that someone might find one of these pieces useful in some way.

It’s a weird thing–I’ve always cowered about sending my work to a journal for publication, but here I am, just throwing it all on WordPress.

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Random Art Shot: Bicycle Wheels

Posted by Jacqueline A. Pollard on November 12, 2014


One of Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Fall 2014

Posted in Modernism, Museums, Pennsylvania | Leave a Comment »

Random Building Shot: Deserted Paper Mill

Posted by Jacqueline A. Pollard on November 10, 2014


Abandoned factory, Downingtown, PA 2014

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is currently hosting an exhibit of David Lynch’s work, and that of his colleagues, in the late 1960s. While reading the PAFA page discussing the show, this passage–describing Philadelphia’s influence on Lynch–resonated with my experience: “The industrial ruins, urban decay and strange visual juxtapositions Lynch experienced in the city struck him as beautiful because of, rather than despite the emptiness and horror.”


Posted in Art, Culture, Monuments | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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