Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A New Verse Translationby Simon Armitage, James Simpson
"Promises to drive the green force of the old poem through the Armitage fuse and set it a-buddin' and a-bloomin' for the new millennium."Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate, best-selling translator of BeowulfCom posed in the late fourteenth
A spellbinding poetic translation of this six hundred year-old Arthurian story of beheading, romance, and the supernatural.
"Promises to drive the green force of the old poem through the Armitage fuse and set it a-buddin' and a-bloomin' for the new millennium."Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate, best-selling translator of BeowulfCom posed in the late fourteenth century by an anonymous author in the English provinces, this remarkable epic has enchanted readers for generations. The work itself is an unparalleled masterpiece of alliteration and rhyme, beginning at Christmastime in Camelot, when the festivities of the Round Table are interrupted by the sudden appearance of a fearful stranger, green from head to foot. A young knight, Gawain, rises to the challenge. What follows is a test of nerve and heart as Gawain travels north to meet his destiny at the Green Chapel in a year's time. Following in the tradition of Seamus Heaney, Simon Armitage, one of England's leading poets, has produced a virtuoso new translation that resounds with both clarity and verve.
The New York Times
Composed in medieval England by an unknown poet and set in what were (even then) the old days of King Arthur, the tale of Sir Gawain begins when a magical warrior with green skin and green hair interrupts the Christmas party at Camelot with a bizarre challenge: "If a person here present, within these premises,/ is big or bold or red blooded enough/ to strike me one stroke and be struck in return" in once year's time, says the knight, "I shall give him as a gift this gigantic cleaver." Pure, loyal Sir Gawain accepts the agreement: the adventures that ensue include a boar hunt, a deer hunt, and an extended flirtation with a noble lady, designed to test Sir Gawain's bravery, fidelity and chastity, and to explore-with some supernatural help-the true meaning of virtue. The Gawain-poet, as he is known to scholars, wrote in Middle English (reproduced here); though it is slightly harder to read than Chaucer, the grammar is more or less our own. Armitage (The Shout), one of England's most popular poets, brings an attractive contemporary fluency to the Gawain-poet's accentual, alliterative verse: We hear the knights of Round Table "chatting away charmingly, exchanging views." This is a compelling new version of a classic. (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- A New Verse Translation
- Product dimensions:
- 6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.90(d)
Meet the Author
Simon Armitage is the award-winning poet and translator of both Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Death of King Arthur, as well as several works of poetry, prose, and drama. He is the Oxford Professor of Poetry.
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