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Anglo-Saxon Poetry

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Anglo–Saxon poetry is esteemed for its subtle artistry and for its wealth of insights into the artistic, social and spiritual preoccupations of the formative first centuries of English literature. This anthology of prose translations covers most of the poetry surviving in the four major codices and in various other manuscripts. A well–received feature is the grouping by cod Anglo–Saxon poetry is esteemed for its subtle artistry and for its wealth of insights into the artistic, social and spiritual preoccupations of the formative first centuries of English literature. This anthology of prose translations covers most of the poetry surviving in the four major codices and in various other manuscripts. A well–received feature is the grouping by codex to emphasize the great importance of manuscript context in interpreting the poems. The full contents of the Exeter Book are represented, summarized where not translated, to facilitate appreciation of a complete Anglo-Saxon book. The introduction discusses the nature of the legacy, the poet's role, chronology, and especially of translations attempt a style acceptable to the modern ear yet close enough to aid parallel study of the old English text. A check–list of extant Anglo-Saxon poetry enhances the practical usefulness of the volume. The whole thus adds up to a substantial and now widely–cited survey of the Anglo–Saxon poetic achievement.


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Anglo–Saxon poetry is esteemed for its subtle artistry and for its wealth of insights into the artistic, social and spiritual preoccupations of the formative first centuries of English literature. This anthology of prose translations covers most of the poetry surviving in the four major codices and in various other manuscripts. A well–received feature is the grouping by cod Anglo–Saxon poetry is esteemed for its subtle artistry and for its wealth of insights into the artistic, social and spiritual preoccupations of the formative first centuries of English literature. This anthology of prose translations covers most of the poetry surviving in the four major codices and in various other manuscripts. A well–received feature is the grouping by codex to emphasize the great importance of manuscript context in interpreting the poems. The full contents of the Exeter Book are represented, summarized where not translated, to facilitate appreciation of a complete Anglo-Saxon book. The introduction discusses the nature of the legacy, the poet's role, chronology, and especially of translations attempt a style acceptable to the modern ear yet close enough to aid parallel study of the old English text. A check–list of extant Anglo-Saxon poetry enhances the practical usefulness of the volume. The whole thus adds up to a substantial and now widely–cited survey of the Anglo–Saxon poetic achievement.

30 review for Anglo-Saxon Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Hawk

    Little needs to be said of Bradley's anthology, a monumental collection of Old English poetry translated into modern idiom. The work is a great service to teachers and students, who may readily turn to this work for quick access to the oldest texts of our language and literature. As such, I have found it invaluable for reference and reading over the past several years (I was first introduced to this text in a survey of Old English during my undergraduate years). The only major drawback of this c Little needs to be said of Bradley's anthology, a monumental collection of Old English poetry translated into modern idiom. The work is a great service to teachers and students, who may readily turn to this work for quick access to the oldest texts of our language and literature. As such, I have found it invaluable for reference and reading over the past several years (I was first introduced to this text in a survey of Old English during my undergraduate years). The only major drawback of this collection is that it does not translate the entire poetic corpus, as he gives only summaries for some minor poems, and even for some sections of the longer works. The headnotes provide excellent introductions to the texts, and the translations provide some of the most literal and understandable renderings of the Old English poems. The greatest benefit of this anthology is for students--it would serve well for an introductory survey course on Old English literature.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Neil

    A voluminous collection of Old English poetic works, translated into modern English. The collection includes everything from biblical poetry to heroic epic. Each poem is preceded by short introductory sections and further reading.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Walt

    A good book for college. Not exactly light reading. Good selection.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    Beowulf! Sometimes you need to revisit the absolute classics, and I reckon Beowulf does hold up in quite a lot of ways. Firstly- this is a good translation by Bradley; easily readable but maintains an air of archaic language that feels true to the history. The tale itself is well-known but has some great insight into early medieval life, ruling classes, warfare and religion. I was pleasantly surprised by the second half, after Grendel's mother has been defeated- this section had escaped my memory, Beowulf! Sometimes you need to revisit the absolute classics, and I reckon Beowulf does hold up in quite a lot of ways. Firstly- this is a good translation by Bradley; easily readable but maintains an air of archaic language that feels true to the history. The tale itself is well-known but has some great insight into early medieval life, ruling classes, warfare and religion. I was pleasantly surprised by the second half, after Grendel's mother has been defeated- this section had escaped my memory, and an eldery Beowulf contemplating and struggling to accept death is actually pretty moving. Not going to write too much about this story for fears of flashbacks to school essays; but there is genuinely a lot here to be appreciated, both in terms of prose and content. A classic that deserves its position.

  5. 4 out of 5

    theodora

    Fantastic collection, deserves elaboration later.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Extremely fascinating book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    great collection of Anglo-Saxon poetry translated by Bradley

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adastra

    A nice overview with excerpts from many poems, however only in a translated version. The true medievalist will have to find another book which has original texts and translations side-by-side.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan Morrison

    I use this when I teach. Although the translations are in prose (a negative), this anthology contains so many important works for a reasonable price!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I return to this book pretty often. I love the riddles.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    In terms of Anglo-Saxon poetry, I had read Beowulf before, but nothing else. These works are an interesting window into the origins of English literature and traditions.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Seth Lee

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jonni Shough

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  16. 5 out of 5

    RM Snow

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shahidul Nahid

  18. 4 out of 5

    Martin Bennett

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sj Kolder

  20. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rodolfo Vitangcol

  23. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Shea

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Roy Niemann

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  30. 4 out of 5

    Valerie A

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