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  • Published: 28 July 2008
  • ISBN: 9780141918761
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176
Categories:

The First Poems in English




There is no comparable edition that includes both the original text and a verse translation

This selection of the earliest poems in English comprises works from an age in which verse was not written down, but recited aloud and remembered. Heroic poems celebrate courage, loyalty and strength, in excerpts from Beowulf and in The Battle of Brunanburgh, depicting King Athelstan's defeat of his northern enemies in 937 AD, while The Wanderer and The Seafarer reflect on exile, loss and destiny. The Gnomic Verses are proverbs on the natural order of life, and the Exeter Riddles are witty linguistic puzzles. Love elegies include emotional speeches from an abandoned wife and separated lovers, and devotional poems include a vision of Christ's cross in The Dream of the Rood, and Caedmon's Hymn, perhaps the oldest poem in English, speaking in praise of God.

  • Published: 28 July 2008
  • ISBN: 9780141918761
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176
Categories:

About the author

Michael Alexander

Michael Alexander recently retired from the chair of English Literature at the University of St Andrews. For Penguin he has translated, The Earliest English Poems, The Canterbury Tales: The First Fragment, as well as a prose translation of Beowulf. His verse translations of The Earliest English Poems and Beowulf have sold over half a million copies in Penguin, for whom he has also edited Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales: The First Fragment.

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