This new translation of 'Beowulf' captures the rhythm and movement of the original Old English poem while employing a fluid Modern English style and relatively simple vocabulary. The resulting text provides an approximation of the acoustic features -- and power -- of the original and is suitable for reading either silently or aloud. This edition also includes a substantial Introduction and translations of three shorter Old English poems that shed light on 'Beowulf'.
Presents a new translation of the Anglo-Saxon epic chronicling the heroic adventures of Beowulf, the Scandinavian warrior who saves his people from the ravages of the monster Grendel and Grendel's mother.
The classic story of Beowulf, hero and dragon-slayer, appears here in a new translation accompanied by genealogical charts, historical summaries, and a glossary of proper names. These and other documents sketching some of the cultural forces behind the poem's final creation will help readers see Beowulf as an exploration of the politics of kingship and the psychology of heroism, and as an early English meditation on the bridges and chasms between the pagan past and the Christian present. A generous sample of other modern versions of Beowulf sheds light on the process of translating the poem.
New York Times bestseller “A thrill . . . Beowulf was Tolkien’s lodestar. Everything he did led up to or away from it.” —New Yorker J.R.R. Tolkien completed his translation of Beowulf in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication. This edition includes an illuminating written commentary on the poem by the translator himself, drawn from a series of lectures he gave at Oxford in the 1930s. His creative attention to detail in these lectures gives rise to a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if Tolkien entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beach their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to Beowulf’s rising anger at Unferth’s taunting, or looking up in amazement at Grendel’s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot. “Essential for students of the Old English poem—and the ideal gift for devotees of the One Ring.” —Kirkus
"Huppe's clear and spirited translation includes a running outline, a dynastic chart, lively and provocative commentary, and a word list. In the introduction, Huppe, sometimes provocatively, discusses the structure of the story, the narrative method, and the Augustinian ethic underlying the conflict between heroic values and Christian values."
A stunning experimental translation of the Old English poem "Beowulf," over 30 decades old and woefully neglected, by the contemporary poet Thomas Meyer, who studied with Robert Kelly at Bard, and emerged from the niche of poets who had been impacted by the brief moment of cross-pollination between U.K. and U.S. experimental poetry in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a movement inspired by Ezra Pound, fueled by interactions among figures like Ed Dorn, J.H. Prynne, and Basil Bunting, and quickly overshadowed by the burgeoning Language Writing movement. Meyer's translation -- completed in 1972 but never before published -- is sure to stretch readers' ideas about what is possible in terms of translating Anglo-Saxon poetry, as well as provide new insights on the poem itself. According to John Ashberry, Meyer's translation of this thousand-year-old poem is a "wonder," and Michael Davidson hails it as a "major accomplishment" and a "vivid" recreation of this ancient poem's "modernity."
A new, feminist translation of Beowulf by the author of the much-buzzed-about novel The Mere Wife Nearly twenty years after Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf—and fifty years after the translation that continues to torment high-school students around the world—there is a radical new verse translation of the epic poem by Maria Dahvana Headley, which brings to light elements that have never before been translated into English, recontextualizing the binary narrative of monsters and heroes into a tale in which the two categories often entwine, justice is rarely served, and dragons live among us. A man seeks to prove himself as a hero. A monster seeks silence in his territory. A warrior seeks to avenge her murdered son. A dragon ends it all. The familiar elements of the epic poem are seen with a novelist’s eye toward gender, genre, and history—Beowulf has always been a tale of entitlement and encroachment, powerful men seeking to become more powerful, and one woman seeking justice for her child, but this version brings new context to an old story. While crafting her contemporary adaptation of Beowulf, Headley unearthed significant shifts lost over centuries of translation. This is a translation for the twenty-first century, to be released in 2019 alongside the paperback of Headley’s novel The Mere Wife.