Sunday, 15 April 2012

H is for Hrothgar, Heorot, & Seamus Heaney

Beowulf manuscript
image from Wikipedia
Beowulf is one of most classic stories of adventure, and it's one of the best. It's got monsters, warriors, vengeful mothers, and copious amounts of mead. Seamus Heaney's poetic translation is probably the most well known version of the story, and it's the one I'm most familiar with. Who cares that his poetic structure and narrative is extremely different than Old English poetry, the fact that it's actually enjoyably read-able is extremely important! I originally had to read the poem for a history class in university, and I was not at all expecting to be hooked on it within the first few pages. As a historical document it's an extremely important piece (one of the oldest manuscripts of Old English poetry, and examples of Anglo-Saxon culture), but it's also an amazing story of adventure. 

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