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Poetry > The Translations of Seamus Heaney

The Translations of Seamus Heaney

By Seamus Heaney, Dr Marco Sonzogni

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Publish Date

January 09, 2024


Literary Criticism / Poetry



‘A huge book, an immense book. Such adventure and variety, such industry, such subjugation of self.’ Michael Hofmann, TLS

Heaney not only translated classic works of Latin and Old English but also poems from a great number of ancient and modern European languages, not least translations from the Old, Middle and Modern Irish of his homeland. The breadth and depth in evidence here is extraordinary — from monastic hymns and prayers, to the civic and familial tragedies of Sophocles and Kochanowski; from Virgil and Dante’s living underworld to the stark landscapes of Sweeney’s Ireland.

As editor, Marco Songzogni frames the translations with the poet’s own writings on his works. Collectively these bring us closer to an understanding of the genius for interpretation and transformation that distinguished Heaney as one of the great poet-translators of all time.

‘The Translations . . . is a landmark volume, a striking testament to the particular and generous genius of Seamus Heaney. . . The crucial part played by translation in the formation and development of his extraordinary talent is under the spotlight as readers are further gifted with Marco Sonzogni’s meticulously detailed notes. . ..’ Martina Evans, Irish Times

‘…this volume is handsome testimony to Heaney’s lifelong service to a noble art.’ David Wheatley, Guardian

‘This magnificent book. . . is without a doubt a compendium to be cherished, and to be celebrated.’ Paul Perry, Sunday Independent

Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966, and was followed by poetry, criticism and translations which established him as the leading poet of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and twice won the Whitbread Book of the Year, for The Spirit Level (1996) and Beowulf (1999). Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O'Driscoll, appeared in 2008; Human Chain, his last volume of poems, was awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best Collection. He died in 2013. His translation of Virgil's Aeneid Book VI was published posthumously in 2016 to critical acclaim.

ISBN: 9780571342532
Format: Paperback
Pages: 704
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Published: January 09, 2024