Thanks to a friend’s recommendation and some excerpts he posted online, I decided to take a look at Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. It turned out to be astonishing — I couldn’t put it down. The narrative skills of the original (anonymous) poet and Heaney’s dynamic modern-English verse combine to make for a thrilling read. The work is well over a thousand years old and it’s still a page-turner.

2 thoughts on “BEOWULF

  1. It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? That’s how it strikes me anyhow. And did you know that he recorded his translation for CD? Let me know if you want to hear it and can’t find a copy.

    He also translated Antigone in a version called “The Burial at Thebes.” I saw it in Dublin in 2004. But his Beowulf is the one that slays me – bad pun unintended!

    • YouTube has a number of clips of Heaney’s reading of “Beowulf”, and I’ve listened to a few. I’ll check out his translation of “Antigone” one of these days — right now I’m immersed in the Viking world!

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