The Oxford Book of Classical Verse in Translation / Edition 1

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Great Britain has a long and grand tradition of poets translating classical authors. Virtually every great poet from Chaucer on has tried his or her hand at translation, with the results often rivaling or even excelling the ancient original. This unique anthology presents the best of these translations, ranging from King Alfred, Alexander Pope, and Ben Jonson, to Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ezra Pound, and Ted Hughes. The book offers a vast array of responses to the song, verse, and drama of ancient Greece and Rome, and to poets themselves as varied as Homer, Sappho, Euripides, Virgil, Ovid, and Juvenal Organized by classical author and text, the book gathers and juxtaposes English versions, sometimes of the same passage or poem, to dramatize the endless renewal of one great poetic tradition in and through another.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An amazing and interesting body of work."--School Library Journal

"Provides both a wealth of classical verse and a delight through variations in translation....This once-in-a-generation scholarly work should be acquired by both public and academic libraries."--Choice

"Lovers of the classics and English poetry will happily lose themselves in this book for hours on end."--Booklist

"A new anthology of classical verse in translation is greatly to be welcomed. This Oxford book will deservedly attract many superlatives...this handsome volume will be much to read and enjoyed but not bettered for years to come. A veritable feast."--The Anglo-Hellenic Review

"This anthology is proof that interest in the classical tradition has survived a period of radical is an anthology for the kind of people who normally despise anthologies."--Church Times

School Library Journal
YA-A one-volume collection of classical verse from Homer to Boethius. Translations, modern and older, are brought together in a rich blending of Greek and Latin writings. Some of the greatest poets in the English language-Dryden, Pope, Tennyson, Poe, Byron, Yeats, Browning, Houseman, Wilde, Shelley, and Pound are among the translators. They emphasize the debt English poetry owes to the classics. An amazing and interesting body of work and one that should be part of any high school collection.
Ray Olson
It's often remarked that the twentieth century is a great era of English translation. This generous anthology constitutes an argument that ever since Chaucer, whose version of the "Aeneid"'s opening lines appears in it, no century well, the fifteenth has been without fine English versions of ancient Greek and Latin poems. The editors concede that work from the two great periods of translation--the mid-sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries is the other one--predominates, but they include plenty of nineteenth-century and even early-sixteenth-century specimens the latter from Gavin Douglas' Scots translation of Virgil. As interesting as the poetic quality of the selections are the ways they suit the preoccupations of their times, as when versions dating from the Commonwealth period refer to Cromwell or twentieth-century takes on erotic verses from the "Greek Anthology" and Catullus blurt out the" f" word. Lovers of the classics and English poetry will happily lose themselves in this book for hours on end.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192142092
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/1995
  • Series: Oxford Books of Verse Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 656
  • Product dimensions: 6.69 (w) x 9.63 (h) x 1.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Adrian Poole is University Lecturer in English at Trinity College, Cambridge. Jeremy Maule is Newton Trust Assistant Lecturer in English, and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.

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