A Brit a Day [#458]

Sounds like the opening lines of a great comic book, huh? These are the opening lines of the epic poem ‘Beowulf’ from a translation that was published in 1999. Today’s Brit is it’s translator, Seamus Heaney. Heaney is a Nobel Prize winning poet in his own right, and despite being Irish, he is a technical Brit, coming from Northern Ireland. In the introduction to ‘Beowulf,’ he explains that the music/language of his translation from Old to Modern English owes its life to the ‘big voice’ of his father’s Ulster relatives. I’m very excited to report that I began reading Heaney’s ‘Beowulf’ today, and unlike my high school acquaintance with it, this time I don’t think I’ll be consulting the Cliff Notes.

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