Summary and Info
Stanley B. Greenfield, one of the world’s foremost Anglo-Saxon scholars, writes of why, after more than thirty years of study, he undertook the Herculean task of rendering Beowulf into contemporary verse: “I wanted my translation to be not only faithful to the original but, as the late John Lennon would have put it, ‘A Poem in Its Own Write.’ I wanted it to ‘flow,’ to be easy to read, with the narrative movement of a modern prose story; yet to suggest the rhythmic cadences of the Old English poem. I wanted it both modern and Old English in its reflexes and sensibilities, delighting both the general reader and the Anglo-Saxon specialist. . . . I wanted it to reproduce the intoxication of aural contours which… might have pleased and amused warriors over their cups in the Anglo-Saxon mead-hall, or those monks in Anglo-Saxon monasteries who paid more attention to song and to stories of Ingeld than to the lector and the gospels.” Greenfield has succeeded to a remarkable degree in reaching his goals. An early reviewer of the manuscript, Daniel G. Calder of UCLA, wrote: “I find it the best translation of Beowulf.One of the great problems with other translations is that they make the reading of Beowulf difficult. Greenfield’s translation speeds along with considerable ease. . . Scholars will find the translation fascinating as an exercise in the successful recreating of various aspects of Old English poetic style.”
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A readable Beowulf: the Old English epic newly translated 0 out of 5 stars based on 0 ratings.