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The Translations of Seamus Heaney

The Translations of Seamus Heaney

‘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