The Eclogues of Virgil: A Translation
ISBN 13: 9780374146344
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
Publication Date: 1999
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A new version, by the acclaimed translator of The Odes of Horace and Gilgamesh. The greatest poet of Rome's golden age, Virgil was born in 70 b.c. in northern Italy. His Eclogues-satirical, passionate, nostalgic-are among the most influential poems of love and pastoral fancy ever written. David Ferry-whose versions of the Odes of Horace and Gilgamesh established him as a master translator-skillfully captures the playfulness and tones of Virgil's magical verse. This bilingual edition includes concise, informative notes and an excellent Introduction. Praise for David Ferry's translation of The Odes of Horace:
"[I]t is a conspicuous merit of Ferry's translations that they have a kind of transparency; he does not intrude his style or his personality between the reader and himself. His versions are rather plain, unfussy, and usually of a quiet dignity....Ferry has achieved a high degree of fidelity to what Virgil wrote."
Richard Jenkyns, New Republic, 08/30/1999Review:
"Ferry's tough intelligence is his best quality as a translator, but it all, somehow, comes off as grace, nonchalance, naturalness. He knows not to make English sound like Latin, seeking instead analogies, given English's own native boundaries, for Virgil's effects. This is an ECLOGUES that will force contemporary poets to acknowledge that the lengthening shadow of convention darkens every word they write, especially where their work seems most 'natural' and 'transparent.' And it will prove, again, what Stevens says in his brief 'Note on Poetry': 'I don't know of anything, respecting form, that makes much difference. The essential thing in form is to be free in whatever form is used. A free form does not ensure freedom. As a form, it is just one more form. So that it comes to this, I suppose, that I believe in freedom regardless of form.' Ferry's ECLOGUES are the freest, in Stevens's special sense of the word, that we have ever had."
Dan Chiasson, Boston Book Review, December 1999
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