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Earliest English Poems Verse Beowulf Seafarer Wanderer Ruin Brunanburn Wildsith

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,259) 99.4%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 122155397126 TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Your browser does not support JavaScript. To view this page, enable JavaScript if it is disabled or upgrade your browser. Click here to see almost 800 archaeology/ancient history books and 500 authentic ancient artifacts on our eBay store! The Earliest English Poems, Translated and Introduced by Michael Alexander. DESCRIPTION: Softcover: 148 pages. Publisher: Penguin Books; (1991). Epic grandeur, formal eloquence and a sober intensity are the hallmarks of Old English verse. Anglo-Saxon poetry was produced between 700 and 1000 AD for an audience that delighted in technical accomplishment, and the durable works of Old English verse spring from the source of the English language. Michael Alexander has translated old English poetry into modern English and into a verse form that retains the qualities of Anglo-Saxon metre and alliteration. Included in this selection are the heroic poems such as "Wildsith", "Deor", "Brunanburn" and "Maldon" and passages from "Beowulf"; some of the famous “riddles” from The Exeter Book; all the “elegies”, including “The Ruin”, “The Wanderer”, “The Seafarer”, “The Wife’s Complaint”, and “The Husband’s Message”, in which the virtu of Old English is found in its purest and most concentrated form; together with the great Christian poem “The Dream of the Rood”. Some new poems are added in this third revised edition. CONDITION: New oversized softcover. Unblemished except VERY slight edge and corner shelf wear to the covers. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from a bookstore environment wherein new books might show minor signs of shelfwear, consequence of simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: Michael Alexander is Professor of English Literature at the University of Saint Andrews. His translations, “The Earliest English Poems” and “Beowulf”, have become well-known Penguin Classics. He is as well responsible for a revised and expanded edition of “Beowulf: A Verse Translation”. Other publications include “Old English Riddles from the Exeter Book”, “A History of Old English Literature”, “Twelve Poems”, and “The Poetic Achievement of Ezra Pound”. His one-volume “A History of English Literature” appeared in 2000. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: An anthology of the best of Anglo-Saxon poetry, including Wisdith, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, together with passages from Beowulf. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: One of the characteristic aspects of Old English/Anglo-Saxon poetry is that it is highly alliterative; done in short measures with a break (the most common pattern), the use of alliteration can almost drive one to distraction until one gets into the rhythm and process of the metrical sounds. This is a wonderful, brief collection of early (pre-Norman Conquest) English poetry. When one thinks of this period, one usually defaults to the poem 'Beowulf'. The translations included here are very well done, keeping much of the flavor of the original language, which in relation to modern English, really is a foreign tongue. Michael Alexander has provided both translations and notes, as well as a very good introduction to early English literature. Anglo-Saxon was an inflected language to a more significant degree than is modern English; in that sense, it has more in common with its Germanic cousins. However, poetry had a much more important role than simply demonstrating facility with language, whatever its origin. “The Old English poet up until Alfred's time was a man with a public function: he was the voice and memory of the tribe. Knowing the past, he could interpret life as it came, making it part of the tale of the tribe.” Poems thus reflect the important aspects of life. 'Beowulf' along with poems 'Widsith', 'Deor', ‘The Fight at Finnsburg' and 'Waldere', demonstrate the heroic aspects of the community, and some of the ideals that the members strive to live up to. Unlike post-Norman Britain that has repelled invasions successfully, pre-Norman Britain was constantly in turmoil, with migrations and invasions from almost every side. The poem 'The Battle of Maldon' recounts an important battle in these struggles, showing the power of poetry not just for idealistic endeavors but also for historical record. Other poems included in this collection include several elegies; 'The Wanderer', 'The Seafarer', and 'The Wife's Complaint' are generally well-known poems, and again tap into regular life concerns of the people of the time. There are Gnomic verses and Riddles that were popular, and continue to be of interest. 'Much of it is of curiosity value only and loses little by being read in translation,' Alexander writes. There is also a section here of 'The Dream of the Rood', an important poem of its day celebrating the discovery or recovery of a piece of the True Cross. In a superstitious society that prized relics highly, this is one of the best that could be had. This is a great collection, brief but worthwhile, for anyone who has an appreciation for the English language and history, or wants to understand the history of poetry and verse in English better. REVIEW: Let me first say that this is a great introductory work and I think very highly of it. The book provides great insight into the Anglo-Saxon literature of pre-Norman times including pieces of the works of Bede. It seems that there is actually more notes and explanation than is there source material (actual writing from the time period) and this is very useful in reading this book and will help in understanding other writings of the period as well. We are seldom exposed to this sort of writing in our schooling so a little explanation is key to gathering any sort of understanding of the people that wrote it. To dive right into the source material without some background would be meaningless. The finest (and longest) piece of writing in the book is "The Battle of Maldon" which describes a Viking raid on an English coastal village. It is spectacular and gripping writing and to our sensationalist minds this work is well within our comfort level with plenty of violence and horror. Again the notes to this piece are great. I recommend this book to anyone who wants some to learn more about early medieval writing and pre-Norman England. It is not the world’s easiest stuff but it isn't that difficult either. This book is great because to come across works of this era is actually quite difficult. If you like this book check out Bede's "Ecclesiastical History of England" it's a little more difficult but again very rewarding. REVIEW: Reading Anglo-Saxon literature can be for modern readers like listening to fingernails scratched on a blackboard. A mind conditioned to democracy, fair play and (public) modesty recoils at primitive sensibilities embodied in the heroic ideal, where childlike loyalty to one's tribal lord is paramount and boasting about one's prowess is considered good manners. An excellent introduction to this anthology prepares new readers for the Anglo-Saxon world and world-view. If we take Alexander at his word that "The excuse, ultimately, for a book of this sort is a conviction on the part of the author that some early English poems deserve to be read by those who do not make their living out of the subject, that what is excellent should be made current," these poems call for a more liberal translation. Alexander gamely tries to retain the sound of the originals, but sacrifices some of the empathy he could have inspired in an amateur audience. Realism has conditioned modern readers to expect literary characters of more than one dimension, containing qualities both noble and despicable, and situations that are morally questionable. Most of these poems leave little room for ambiguity; the good are good, the evil are monstrously evil. The two most appealing poems for the modern reader may be "The Dream of the Rood" and "Deor." The first poem recounts the crucifixion from the persona of the cross. It is hard to read the line "They drove me through with dark nails" without admiration for the poet. "Deor" is the lament of a court poet whose role has been usurped by another. His plight is sympathetic. Tales of battle and adventure abound. Perhaps the greatest adventure story is the survival of the poems themselves. They were recounted by memory for generations, transcribed by monks who layered Christian morality on top of pagan ideas, survived Viking raids and library fires as charred manuscript scraps. Old English is a language as alien to modern English as the surface of Mars is to Earth. Despite the difficulty of translation and difference of perspective, it is worth looking backwards to read these poems. If for no other reason than they are ours. REVIEW: Definitely an interesting collection, most of which are excerpts. Has a good balance of the typical ragin' Vikings fare (mostly battle scenes) and some surprisingly eloquent ballad selections. "The Wanderer" is amazing. A lot of variety, including some entertaining riddles, and really captures the feel of the old English in modern English. Also has great introductions to each selection. Highly recommended. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). The shipment will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world – but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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