New York Times bestseller and winner of the Whitbread Award. Composed toward the end of the first millennium, Beowulf is the elegiac narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and, later, from Grendel's mother. He then returns to his own country and dies in old age in a vivid fight against a dragon. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on in the exhausted aftermath. In the contours of this story, at once remote and uncannily familiar at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney finds a resonance that summons power to the poetry from deep beneath its surface. Drawn to what he has called the "four-squareness of the utterance" in ?Beowulf? and its immense emotional credibility, Heaney gives these epic qualities new and convincing reality for the contemporary reader.
Sophocles' play, first staged in the fifth century B.C., stands as a timely exploration of the conflict between those who affirm the individual's human rights and those who must protect the state's security.
Death of a Naturalist (1966) marked the auspicious debut of Seamus Heaney, a universally acclaimed master of modern literature. As a first book of poems, it is remarkable for its accurate perceptions and rich linguistic gifts.
A Cycle of Love Songs Translated by the Nobel Laureate. "Dappled woodland light, Spring well chill and bright, Eyes like stars at night, Open knees so white. Four things death itself won't cover, Unforgettable forever." In 1917, while reading his local newspaper, Leos Janacek discovered the poems that he was to set to music in his song cycle Diary of One Who Vanished. Written by Ozef Kalda and published anonymously, they tell the story of a farmer's boy who abandons his home because he has fallen in love with a Gypsy. These new English versions by Seamus Heaney were commissioned by the English National Opera for a series of international performances, which opened in Dublin in October 1999.
Door into the Dark, Seamus Heaney's second collection of poems, first appeared in 1969. Already his widely celebrated gifts of precision, thoughtfulness, and musicality were everywhere apparent.
With this collection, first published in 1975, Heaney located a myth which allowed him to articulate a vision of Ireland--its people, history, and landscape--and which gave his poems direction, cohesion, and cumulative power. In North, the Irish experience is refracted through images drawn from different parts of the Northern European experience, and the idea of the north allows the poet to contemplate the violence on his home ground in relation to memories of the Scandinavian and English invasions which have marked Irish history so indelibly.
As selected by the author,Opened Ground includes the essential work from Heaney's twelve previous books of poetry, as well as new sequences drawn from two of his landmark translations, The Cure at Troy and Sweeney Astray, and several previously uncollected poems. Heaney's voice is like no other--"by turns mythological and journalistic, rural and sophisticated, reminiscent and impatient, stern and yielding, curt and expansive" (Helen Vendler,The New Yorker)--and this is a one-volume testament to the musicality and precision of that voice. The book closes with Heaney's Nobel Lecture: "Crediting Poetry."
The Rattle Bagis an anthology of poetry (mostly in English but occasionally in translation) for general readers and students of all ages and backgrounds. These poems have been selected by the simple yet telling criteria that they are the personal favorites of the editors, themselves two of contemporary literature's leading poets. Moreover, Heaney and Hughes have elected to list their favorites not by theme or by author but simply by title (or by first line, when no title is given). As they explain in their Introduction: "We hope that our decision to impose an arbitrary alphabetical order allows the contents [of this book] to discover themselves as we ourselves gradually discovered them--each poem full of its singular appeal, transmitting its own signals, taking its chances in a big, voluble world. " With undisputed masterpieces and rare discoveries, with both classics and surprises galore,The Rattle Bagincludes the work of such key poets as William Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Lewis Carroll, Dylan Thomas, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, and Sylvia Plath among its hundreds of poems. A helpful Glossary as well as an Index of Poets and Works are offered at the conclusion of this hefty, unorthodox, diverse, inspired, and inspiring collection of poetry.
Collection by the Nobel Laureate dealing with nature, heritage, the land and the "troubles" of his Northern Ireland home
The 1996 Whitbread book of the year, this collection of poetry about the balance between nature, morality and spirituality comes from the 1995 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The tale of mad Sweeney's crazed wanderings in the wild and his incurable loneliness.
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