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Beowulf: A New Verse Translation

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Beowulf: A New Verse Translation Cover

ISBN13: 9780374111199
ISBN10: 0374111197
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A brilliant and faithful rendering of the Anglo-Saxon epic from the Nobel laureate.

Composed toward the end of the first millennium of our era, Beowulf is the elegiac narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and, later, from Grendel's mother. He then returns to his own country and dies in old age in a vivid fight against a dragon. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on in the exhausted aftermath. In the contours of this story, at once remote and uncannily familiar at the end of the twentieth century, Seamus Heaney finds a resonance that summons power to the poetry from deep beneath its surface.

Drawn to what he has called the "four-squareness of the utterance" in Beowulf and its immense emotional credibility, Heaney gives these epic qualities new and convincing reality for the contemporary reader.

Seamus Heaney received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995. He lives in Dublin and he regularly teaches at Harvard University. His many other books include Opened Ground, Electric Light, Beowulf, and Finders Keepers.
Whitbread Book of the Year Award

Beowulf is the Old English elegiac narrative of a Scandinavian protagonist and prince who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and, later, from Grendel's mother. Beowulf then returns to his own country, the conquering hero and lord of the land, only to die after an intense fight with a dragon. The poem concerns encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live in the exhausted aftermath. As noted in the Evening Standard, Seamus Heaney's "intelligence, fine ear, and obvious love of the poem bring Beowulf alive as melancholy masterpiece, a complex Christian-pagan lament about duty, glory, loss, and transience." Drawn to what he calls the "four-squareness of the utterance" in Beowulf and its immense emotional credibility, Heaney gives these epic qualities a fresh and convincing reality for today's reader. Also included in this new and widely acclaimed version of the epic is Heaney's intelligent and candid introduction, which, as Andrew Motion wrote in the Financial Times, "does everything it should to dust down and exhibit the poem, exploring its origins, investigating its form, and establishing its structure."

"Seamus Heaney's Beowulf rises from the dead . . . Mr. Heaney's translation beats with a recurring pulse, from homely and concrete to elevated and back again . . . An epic must flow to remain alive. Mr. Heaney's flow of language, action, and character is poetry's fight against dying."Richard Eder, The New York Times

"This handsome edition helpfully provides the Anglo-Saxon original on the pages facing the translation and includes an eloquent introductory essay . . . [This is] a translation that manages to accomplish what before now had seemed impossible: a faithful rendering that is simultaneously an original and gripping poem in its own right. Heaney is as attuned to the poem's celebration of the heroic as he is to its melancholy undertow . . . [Here is a Beowulf] for which generations of readers will be grateful."James Shapiro, The New York Times Book Review

“A work of the greatest imaginative intensity. Heaney supplements his supple and highly readable version with an insightful introduction, which serves as both an aesthetic defense and a classical explanation of the poem . . . Heaney's flexible adaptation has its own adhesive music, a keen contemporary authority . . . The deep value of Heaney's free adaptation is that it opens the poetic world of Beowulf to us. He captures the overall swing and pitch of the poem, even as he pursues the direct narrative utterance and the larger architectonics. As with his own poems, he has found a capable strategy for transforming mythic energy into verbal action . . . [This] Beowulf has an elemental grandeur, a ruthless beauty, and incandescent dignity that belong only to the greatest poetry.”Edward Hirsch, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Synopsis:

A brilliant and faithful rendering of the Anglo-Saxon epic from the Nobel laureate.

Composed toward the end of the first millennium of our era, Beowulf is the elegiac narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and, later, from Grendel's mother. He then returns to his own country and dies in old age in a vivid fight against a dragon. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on in the exhausted aftermath. In the contours of this story, at once remote and uncannily familiar at the end of the twentieth century, Seamus Heaney finds a resonance that summons power to the poetry from deep beneath its surface.

Drawn to what he has called the "four-squareness of the utterance" in Beowulf and its immense emotional credibility, Heaney gives these epic qualities new and convincing reality for the contemporary reader.

Synopsis:

This brilliant and faithful rendering of the Anglo-Saxon epic has been revamped for the contemporary reader by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.

About the Author

Seamus Heaney lives in Dublin and teaches at Harvard University. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. His most recent book of poems is Opened Ground (FSG, 1998).

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

argylsok, July 7, 2008 (view all comments by argylsok)
Mr. Heaney has written a superb translation of Beowulf, with a poet's sensibility toward the Anglo-Saxon compound words that made this epic so rich. (E.g., the Anglo-Saxon 'bone cage' = our 'skeleton.')

Having the original Anglo-Saxon text on the facing page is a gift for those who have encountered the original work.

It is Heaney's gift for narrative that shines. This is the most readable version of Beowulf that I have encountered.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374111199
Author:
Heaney, Seamus
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Poetry (poetic works by one author)
Subject:
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
Heroes
Subject:
Monsters
Subject:
Dragons
Subject:
Ancient, Classical & Medieval
Subject:
Epic poetry, English
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Classics-Medieval and Renaissance General
Subject:
Anthologies-United Kingdom Poetry
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
160
Publication Date:
20000231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Notes
Pages:
213
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » United Kingdom » Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Beowulf
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » British Medieval and Renaissance
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Medieval and Nordic
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Medieval and Renaissance
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Featured Titles

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation Used Hardcover
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$11.86 In Stock
Product details 213 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374111199 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A brilliant and faithful rendering of the Anglo-Saxon epic from the Nobel laureate.

Composed toward the end of the first millennium of our era, Beowulf is the elegiac narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and, later, from Grendel's mother. He then returns to his own country and dies in old age in a vivid fight against a dragon. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on in the exhausted aftermath. In the contours of this story, at once remote and uncannily familiar at the end of the twentieth century, Seamus Heaney finds a resonance that summons power to the poetry from deep beneath its surface.

Drawn to what he has called the "four-squareness of the utterance" in Beowulf and its immense emotional credibility, Heaney gives these epic qualities new and convincing reality for the contemporary reader.

"Synopsis" by , This brilliant and faithful rendering of the Anglo-Saxon epic has been revamped for the contemporary reader by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.
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