June 16, 2008

t ws gōd cyning

Beowulf (Anglo-Saxon epic poem)
Reviewed by Grady

1st page of beowulf
Beowulf is ancient and difficult but when I came to understand it, I found it to be a very entertaining story. Beowulf is about a fearsome knight who becomes a king and his quests as he battles mythical creatures like a dragon and a giant. It is a fairly simple story that conveys strong messages about honor and the test of strength. The language is very old English and describes Beowulf's battles poetically. It has the direct feel and excitement of a Greek myth as the writer celebrates Beowulf's nobility and power. Beowulf shows the roots of English writing and provides an example for readers of any generation.

Librarian's note: we have several editions of Beowulf in the adult section, most can be found at 829.3 Beowulf.
Note especially Seamus Heaney's Beowulf : a new verse translation .

In the J room please look for:
J 829.3 Beowulf
Beowulf adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds.
Beowulf as told by Michael Morpurgo ; illustrated by Michael Foreman.
Beowulf story by Stefan Petrucha ; artwork by Kody Chamberlain.
Beowulf, a hero's tale retold by James Rumford.

Read parts of Beowulf, and listen, in Old English.

Then read this translated bit of the prolog aloud. (Gummere translation)

LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped, we have heard, and what honor the athelings won! Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes, from many a tribe, the mead-bench tore, awing the earls. Since erst he lay friendless, a foundling, fate repaid him: for he waxed under welkin, in wealth he throve, till before him the folk, both far and near, who house by the whale-path, heard his mandate, gave him gifts: a good king he!
Posted by library at June 16, 2008 06:11 PM
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