Composed towards the end of the first millennium, the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf is one of the great Northern epics and a classic of European literature. In his new translation, Seamus Heaney has produced a work which is both true, line by line, to the original poem, and an expression, in its language and music, of something fundamental to his own creative gift.

It is not hard to draw parallels between this story and the history of the twentieth century, nor can Heaney's Beowulf fail to be read partly in the light of his Northern Irish upbringing. But it also transcends such considerations, telling us psychological and spiritual truths that are permanent and liberating.

’Heaney’s intelligence, fine ear and obvious love of the poem bring Beowulf alive as a melancholy masterpiece.’ Claire Harman, Evening Standard.

'What characterises this Beowulf is its energetic, relentless driving forward. A miraculous mix of the poem's original spirit and Heaney's voice.' Bernard O'Donoghue, Irish Times.

More Information
ISBN 9780571203765
Author Seamus Heaney
Publisher Faber & Faber
Publication date 8 Apr 2002
Format Paperback
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Beowulf: A Translation by Seamus Heaney

Beowulf is a poem about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on, physically and psychically exposed, in that exhausted aftermath. Heaney's translation brings the poem to a new audience.

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