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The Iliad

09/11/05 | by [mail] | Categories: culture/news

IliadI'm reading Homer's Iliad, translated by Stanley Lombardo. I tried once before in college and didn't get very far, but I'm really enjoying it now. The fact that I'm not trying to read it on top of homework might have something to do with it. I'm into Book 5 now and the battle is well underway.

The story is exciting, but I think my favorite part has been the writing, the poetry. It's translated from Greek to English by Stanley Lombardo. His translations aren't strictly literal, but try to bring the words of Homer into more modern language. He came to Truman once and visited my Greek class where he taught us some things about reciting Greek. Then he did a performance that night. The way he brings the beauty of the poems into English is stunning. Here he's describing how a Greek hero slaughters a ram as part of an oath with the Trojans:

He spoke, then slashed the rams' throats
And put the gasping animals on the ground,
Their proud temper undone by whetted bronze.

I may post some more of my favorite quotes here (unless someone convinces me not to).


1 comment

I’ll have to read that eventually.

I just read Seamus Heaney’s recent translation of Beowulf, because I was teaching it to my British Lit class, and my experience was much like yours. Heaney does a great job of translating not only the story, but the feel and rhythm of the poetry.

[Member]  http://www.brendoman.com/kyle09/11/05 @ 19:46

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