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                        POETRY ANTHOLOGIES REVIEWED

BEOWULF AND OTHER OLD ENGLISH POEMS Translated/edited by Constance B. Hieatt. Bantham Classics 1967, revised 1983 edition.

I have several editions of Beowulf around, and this is probably the worst of them, a tired lethargic translation that strips poetry to basic prose. What shines through is the unshakeable quality of the story itself, the book is interesting for its eclectic mix of bits from other stories and fragments of records from battles, legends and prayers, - that the translation is bad is highlighted even by the translator who includes side by side with some of his work, alternative, earlier and vastly superior translations by Ezra Pound and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Worth having around to flick through and also to remind yourself how it shouldn't be done. Hopefully this won't be most people's first introduction to Beowulf or the other works cited.

Arthur Chappell

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