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The First Poems in English (Penguin Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Digital List Price: $20.78 What's this?
Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

This selection of the earliest poems in English comprises works from an age in which verse was not written down, but recited aloud and remembered. Heroic poems celebrate courage, loyalty and strength, in excerpts from Beowulf and in The Battle of Brunanburgh, depicting King Athelstan’s defeat of his northern enemies in 937 AD, while The Wanderer and The Seafarer reflect on exile, loss and destiny. The Gnomic Verses are proverbs on the natural order of life, and the Exeter Riddles are witty linguistic puzzles. Love elegies include emotional speeches from an abandoned wife and separated lovers, and devotional poems include a vision of Christ’s cross in The Dream of the Rood, and Caedmon’s Hymn, perhaps the oldest poem in English, speaking in praise of God.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Alexander is Professor of English at the University of St Andrews, and translator/editor of Beowulf: A Verse Translation and Beowulf: A Glossed Text, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales: The First Fragment and The Earliest English Poems.

Product Details

  • File Size: 339 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reprint edition (May 29, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI991Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,341 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pricy, but genuine Penguin. December 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I got this edition because I wanted the text of Caedmon's hymn in both Old English and translated into modern English, since I wanted to be able to accurately copy these few lines, with proper attestation, into a paper. (Turned out I never did that, but that was my aim.) I accepted the 10 dollar price, since I didn't have the volume, or anything like it, so I was not duplicating. And, as usual, with postage, the Kindle edition was less expensive than the paperback. It also fits my urge, which arises every once in a while, to examine something from a field about which I know nothing. This was perfect.

It turns out, for those of us who are addicted to J.R.R. Tolkien, that a riddle game was a very common thing for those who didn't want to sit around the campfire and listen to a recitation of Beowulf again. This is certainly where Tolkien got the idea for Gollum's riddle game.

Most of the material was contemporary with the writing of Beowulf. It shows us love poetry and alternative epics.
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