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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight [9781852246341]

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Sir Gawain & the Green Knight is a classic Arthurian tale of enchantment, adventure and romance. This splendid new translation - by one of the world's leading poets - has already been acclaimed in America. The original poem and W.S. Merwin's modern version are comparable in stature and imaginative power to another medieval epic, Beowulf, in Seamus Heaney's rendering. All Camelot is merry with Christmas revelry when an enormous green-skinned knight with brilliant green clothes rides into King Arthur's court. This giant throws down a sinister challenge: he will endure a blow of the axe to his neck without offering any resistance, but whoever delivers the fatal blade must promise to take the same in a year and a day. When the young Gawain beheads him, the Green Knight grabs hold of his severed head and makes off on horseback. The poem follows Gawain's adventures thereafter - shockingly brutal hunts, an almost impossible seduction, and terrifyingly powerful adversaries - as he gallantly struggles to honour his promise. Capturing the pace, impact and richly alliterative language of the original Middle English text - presented on facing pages - Merwin brings a new immediacy to a spellbinding, timeless narrative written many centuries ago by a master poet whose identity has been lost to time. Modern and Middle English parallel text edition.
AUTHOR: W.S. Merwin (1927-2019) was Poet Laureate of the United States in 2010-11. He received most of the principal prizes in American poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize (twice), the Bollingen Prize and the Tanning Prize and a Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award. Bloodaxe published his Selected Poems in 2007, prior to which his poetry had been unavailable in Britain for over 35 years. As well as being an internationally renowned poet, W.S. Merwin was the author of many classic translations, including editions of Neruda, Dante, The Song of Roland, The Poem of the Cid, and (from Bloodaxe) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. His latest titles from Bloodaxe are Selected Poems (2007); The Shadow of Sirius (2009), which won him his second Pulitzer Prize; The Moon Before Morning (2014); and Garden Time (2016). All three of his late collections from Bloodaxe are Poetry Book Society Recommendations. Born in New York City, he taught at several universities, and lived on the Pacific island of Maui, tending to his writing and to his garden of rare and endangered palm trees.
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W. S. Merwin
Bloodaxe Books Ltd
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