This is a story about coming and going. This is a story about the sea…
A warrior sets sail for a distant land, to a once great hall plagued by a murderous enemy – the monster Grendel. Can the hero Beowulf defeat his bloody-thirsty foe, save the Geats from being wiped off the map, and claim his just rewards?
The Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf is brought to life in a vigorous, contemporary translation by American poet Meghan Purvis. Written across a range of poetic forms and voices, this rendering captures the thrust and gore of battle, the treasures of the mead-hall, and the sinister dens and moorlands of Dark Age Denmark. Combining faithful translation with innovative versions and poems from alternative viewpoints, Purvis has created an exciting new interpretation of Beowulf – full of verve and the bristle of language.
‘The excellence of Purvis’ translation is her ability to convey the real sadness and might of Beowulf … The translation moves relentlessly forward, the different rhythms and structures of the constituent parts acting as variations in a greater theme.’
James Schuller, Annexe Magazine
Cover design by Henry Simmonds
Published 10 May 2013
PBS Recommended Translation
Meghan Purvis received her MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia in 2006, where she is currently finishing her PhD. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Rialto, The Frogmore Papers, and Magma. She won the 2011 Times Stephen Spender Prize for an excerpt from her translation of Beowulf; another poem was commended. She lives in Cambridge.