New York Times best seller and Whitebread Book of the Year, Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney's new translation of Beowulf comes to life in this gripping audio. Heaney's performance reminds us that Beowulf, written near the turn of another millennium, was intended to be heard not read.
"Why, oh, why is it abridged?"
Written a thousand years ago, this long poem is the very first surviving piece of English literature. Join Beowulf, a young warrior, as he achieves glory by fighting and killing three fantastic monsters. This new translation, by the Nobel laureate poet Seamus Heaney, offers modern listeners an accessible, intensely dramatic text. It amply demonstrates why this epic has spread its influence over more than a millennium of literature.
This selection of Seamus Heaney's poems is drawn from nine collections, including The Spirit Level, and provides a perfect introduction to the full breadth of Heaney's poetic concerns.
"A gentle, gracious and personal performance"
Seamus Heaney’s new translation of Beowulf is a work that is both true to the original poem and an expression of something fundamental to Heaney’s own creative gift.One of the great classics of English literature, it tells the story of a hero who wins glory and learns wisdom and is then called upon to face a final test against the monstrous. There are obvious parallels to be found in the history of the twentieth century, and Heaney’s Beowulf cannot fail to be read partly in the light of his Northern Irish upbringing. But it also transcends such considerations, revealing psychological and spiritual truths that are both permanent and liberating.
The landmark selection of poems from the greatest poet of our age, read on audio by Seamus Heaney himself. 'His is "close-up" poetry - close up to thought, to the world, to the emotions. Few writers at work today, in verse or fiction, can give the sense of rich, fecund, lived life that Heaney does.(John Banville )More than any other poet since Wordsworth he can make us understand that the outside world is not outside, but what we are made of. (John Carey)
The sixth book of Virgil's Aeneid, in which Aeneas travels into the underworld to meet the spirit of his father, is a story that captivated Seamus Heaney from his schooldays. But the work took on a special significance for him after the death of his own father, becoming a touchstone to which he would return as an adult. His noble and moving translation of book VI bears the fruit of a lifetime's concentration upon it: he began translating passages in the 1980s and was finalising the work right up to the summer of his death.