By Stanley B. Greenfield, Alain Renoir
Stanley B. Greenfield, one of many world’s optimal Anglo-Saxon students, writes of why, after greater than thirty years of analysis, he undertook the Herculean activity of rendering Beowulf into contemporary verse: “I sought after my translation to be not just faithful to the unique yet, because the past due John Lennon could have positioned it, ‘A Poem in Its personal Write.’ i wished it to ‘flow,’ to be effortless to learn, with the narrative circulation of a contemporary prose tale; but to signify the rhythmic cadences of the previous English poem. i needed it either sleek and previous English in its reflexes and sensibilities, delighting either the final reader and the Anglo-Saxon expert. . . . i needed it to breed the intoxication of aural contours which… may have happy and amused warriors over their cups within the Anglo-Saxon mead-hall, or these priests in Anglo-Saxon monasteries who paid extra cognizance to music and to tales of Ingeld than to the lector and the gospels.”
Greenfield has succeeded to a extraordinary measure in attaining his pursuits. An early reviewer of the manuscript, Daniel G. Calder of UCLA, wrote: “I locate it the easiest translation of Beowulf.
One of the nice issues of different translations is they make the studying of Beowulf difficult. Greenfield’s translation speeds in addition to substantial ease. . . students will locate the interpretation attention-grabbing as an workout within the winning recreating of varied elements of outdated English poetic style.”
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Extra info for A Readable Beowulf: The Old English Epic Newly Translated
The ready men' climbed aboard at the prow, while the waves beat against the shore; into the ship's hold they bore their gleaming battle-armor, their splendid war-gear; the warriors launched the well-crafted ship on their desired course. Then over the waves, sped by the wind, foam ringing its prow, the ship flew on. , Beowulf, the hero of the poem, who is not actually named till 1. 343. Hyglac is king of the Geats, and Beowulf's uncle. < previous page page_45 next page > < previous page page_46 next page > Page 46 225 sea-cliffs gleaming, and the craggy bluffs, the broad headlands.
Long ago in Heorot, he had already used the conjunction if, but he had done so in a boastful manner to suggest that Grendel might not dare 684: "if he dare seek war") meet him in combat. Now, on the contrary, the repetition of the same conjunction drives home the fact that he has weighed at least some of the alternatives before choosing the solutions on which he finally settles, and it lends the passage a reflective tone which is totally absent from his utterances in the first half of the poem.
He whose very word9 was widely held as law called it Heort. He made good his vow: he gave out rings, treasure at the feast. The hall towered10 high, wide-gabled, awaited the hostile surge of flame in battle, though the feud of father- and son-in-law still lay in distant time for dire hate to rouse 80 85 Then that powerful demon, he who dwelt11 in darkness' impatiently endured a time of torment, hearing daily loud joy in the hall, the harp's music, the bard's clear song. He said, who could best 90 tell of man's ancient origin, how the Almighty Lord made the earth,12 this wondrous land circled by Water; how He set in triumph sun and moon as lights for those living on the land, 95 and adorned all corners of the earth with leaves and branches; how He breathed life into all kinds of moving creatures.