july 6, 2003

Just finished reading Burton Raffel's translation of Beowulf and it was wonderful! A very accessible translation of the epic poem. I'm going to read (again) Seamus Heaney's awesome translation of Beowulf soon too, Heaney's translation is one of the best translations I've read. If you don't know what Beowulf is: Beowulf is one of the earliest modern poems in a European language (Old English is what Beowulf is written in). It is an epic tale of a warrior, Beowulf, who goes to fight three monsters (Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a dragon). Most everyone has probably "studied" Beowulf in some boring college English class and hence it being remembered by everyone as some boring old poem from times gone by. But, if you read it like an exciting tale, then you'll see what you've been missing out on. I would suggest either Raffel's or Heaney's translations of Beowulf, but if you don't want to pay to buy those (which you should), then you can also get the harder to read translation by Gummere at Project Gutenberg, find it HERE.