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Caedmon's <em>Hymn</em>

Caedmon's Hymn


by Caedmon

Lines 5-6 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 5-6

He first created                     for men's sons
heaven as a roof,                  holy Creator,

  • Now Caedmon goes into a little more detail with these wonders and gives us a chronology. Also notice that humans have entered the story now, so the wonders Caedmon lists are in relation to us—or "men's sons," as the poem puts it, masculinely (FYI, Caedmon: women live here too).
  • So first God creates heaven, which Caedmon compares to a roof in an interesting architectural simile (see "The Kingly" section under "Imagery" for how this might relate to God as a king).
  • "First" is one of a cluster of "time" words that gives a definite sense of chronology to God's actions. (For more, see "Time" in the "Themes" section.)

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