I just want to confirm that I am sticking with my plan, even though it can be a bit of a rough slog at times. Early poetry in English literature was written in Middle English, so... yeah.
Despite the challenges, I want to report that I loved the portion I read from Beowulf, which I found out was a huge favorite of J.R.R. Tolkein, and my goodness I can see how it influenced LOTR. My favorite line from the portion I read (not in Middle English, I'm sad to confess) was this description of the evil fiend Grendel:
Progenitor he was of the miscreations,
Kobolds and gogmagogs, lemurs and zombies.
Currently I'm working through the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales (and this is in Middle English). I cannot believe I took an entire class on this book in college. Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful. I mean it. But it is mighty hard work to follow. The best part is slowly remembering how to read it out loud. As I learned at the outset of this project, A poem is a composition written for performance by the human voice.
Onward and upward.