A New Verse Translation

Book - 2000
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Composed toward the end of the first millennium, 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 beginning of the twenty-first century, Nobel laureate 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.
Publisher: New York : Norton, 2000.
ISBN: 9780393320978
Branch Call Number: 829.3 Beowu 3578au 1
829.3 Beowu
Characteristics: xxx, 213 p.
Additional Contributors: Heaney, Seamus
Alternative Title: Beowulf.


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Apr 30, 2019

Hard to make Beowulf a page turner, but leave it to Seamus Heaney. Heart-stopping prose, a visual masterpiece, a tale of bravery, loss, and yes - even love.

Oct 05, 2017

This poem is the definition of epic!! A great read for anyone!!

HMWLibrary2017 Jul 14, 2017

Seamus Heaney's translation is accessible and at times truly gorgeous. He brings the epic's metaphors to life.

Jul 03, 2016

Heaney's translation is very poetic and yet effectively keeps the feel of Old English with the use of combined words such as "whale-road" and "mead-hall". I read and re-read the poem several times, and with each reading gained greater appreciation of the creative and emotional impact.

Jun 13, 2016

I LOVED this poem. I can't wait to read other translations

May 20, 2016

This was a treat to read. Seamus Heaney translates this Old English Epic poem into very readable modern English. The wonderful Medieval setting includes dragons, monsters, heroes, treasure and dramatic battles against evil forces. Sound familiar? You will recognize Tolkien on every page. I loved this.

BostonPL_JordanD Aug 27, 2015

(Book 7 of 8 of my Summer Reading book reviews.)

Title/Author: Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney

Read by: Anna, Teen Central Librarian

Summary: A terrible monster kills the defenders of this kingdom night after night until a hero arrives who may be able to take him down.

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Genre/sub-genre: Classic Fiction/Poetry

Diversity: Yes.

Relatable characters: Yes.

Would I recommend this to others?: yes.

Personal thoughts: I enjoyed this translation of the epic poem very much. I found it much easier to read than anticipated, and not only that, it was a fast read too. And engaging. Anyone interested in adventure stories involving tough heroes, kings, monsters, and dragons, as well as those who may not be up for the much longer epic poem, Odyssey, by Homer, would enjoy this, I think. In the margins, the translator includes short descriptions of what's happening in plain English, for those who need it, though I felt the poem spoke for itself and didn't need another "translation". Good book and great story.

Felicia_Caro Apr 30, 2014

Like the first time I read Beowulf, I was taken into a completely different time and place and would step out again, each time I put the book down, onto a newly viewed natural world, alive and thriving. Whether the demons and monsters presented in Beowulf are psychological imaginations or real, I'll never know, but it is always fantastic to understand how a culture defines its people by heroic acts of character necessary to extinguish evil. The language used created a childlike fear in me only overcome by the awesome poetry, both haunting and brutish, that carried each scene throughout. A perfect read for all stretches of the imagination... where the storytelling is a work of art.

Sep 11, 2013

Having an interest for a few years in this saga has led me to reading several different translations-this would have to be the best I've read. It's more accessible than others and really brings the story alive with a much more readable style and rhythm.

Jun 25, 2013

Regarding references to Anglo-Saxon culture, it is good to remember that Beowulf was a Dane, and the name Beowulf in Old Dansk translates to "small bear" - - and the Beowulf tale is not that far removed from the recounting of the Arab scholar/traveller's tale, retold by Michael Crichton (the best of Crichton's books, in my opinion) in "The 13th Warrior," and relates to an old Viking historical tale or story.

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BostonPL_JordanD Aug 27, 2015

BostonPL_JordanD thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Sep 07, 2012

Siliverien thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over


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