By Stanley B. Greenfield, Alain Renoir
Stanley B. Greenfield, one of many world’s best Anglo-Saxon students, writes of why, after greater than thirty years of analysis, he undertook the Herculean job of rendering Beowulf into contemporary verse: “I sought after my translation to be not just faithful to the unique yet, because the overdue John Lennon may have positioned it, ‘A Poem in Its personal Write.’ i needed it to ‘flow,’ to be effortless to learn, with the narrative stream of a latest prose tale; but to indicate the rhythmic cadences of the outdated English poem. i wished it either glossy and outdated English in its reflexes and sensibilities, delighting either the overall reader and the Anglo-Saxon expert. . . . i needed it to breed the intoxication of aural contours which… may need happy and amused warriors over their cups within the Anglo-Saxon mead-hall, or these clergymen in Anglo-Saxon monasteries who paid extra cognizance to tune and to tales of Ingeld than to the lector and the gospels.”
Greenfield has succeeded to a amazing measure in achieving 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 good issues of different translations is they make the studying of Beowulf difficult. Greenfield’s translation speeds in addition to enormous ease. . . students will locate the interpretation attention-grabbing as an workout within the winning recreating of varied facets of outdated English poetic style.”
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Extra resources for A Readable Beowulf: The Old English Epic Newly Translated
348. 26 Wulfgar probably comes from Vendel, in Sweden;'Iike many warriors of that time, he would have sought service abroad with a (footnote continued on next page) < previous page page_49 next page > < previous page page_50 next page > Page 50 355 360 365 370 VI 375 380 I shall request of the Danish king, the illustrious prince and Scyldings' lord:. ask the ring-giver about your errand, and speedily bring you such response as that good king sees fit to give me. He hastened then to where. Hrothgar sat, old and hoary, with his band of heroes; known for valor, knowing court custom, he went and stood by the ruler's shoulder.
These sections are called fitts; their exact contours have been the subject of much discussion. A few of the fitt numbers are not clearly designated; such are indicated in brackets. 7 On the Danish, Swedish, and Geatish dynasties, see Genealogical Tables. 8 The text is faulty; some scholars think the name of Hrothgar's daughter is mentioned here, and suggest Yrse. Onela reappears later in the poem. < previous page page_40 next page > < previous page page_41 next page > Page 41 in a short time. He whose very word9 was widely held as law called it Heort.
King! In addition to the difficulties of ascertaining meaning, which I have indicated in brackets (the difficulty in line 6 depends upon a different emendation of the word "eorl" of the manuscript to "eorle"), a syntactic question arises as to whether the word "syððan'' in line 6 should begin a new sentence. Here is my version: Indeed, we have heard of the Spear-Danes' glory, and their kings' in days gone by, how princes displayed their courage then. Often Scyld Scefing shattered the hosts, unsettled many a nation's mead-hall, terrorized tribes, since first he was found abandoned; comfort and abundance later came his way, and worldly fame, until neighboring nations, near or 10 far over whale-big seas, obeyed him, gave tribute; a good king in deed!
A Readable Beowulf: The Old English Epic Newly Translated by Stanley B. Greenfield, Alain Renoir