The METAMORPHOSES of Ovid stands with the works of Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Milton as a classic of world poetry. Ted Hughes, England's Poet Laureate, has translated 24 stories from the METAMORPHOSES. The result is the most vigorous 20th-century version of this classic, at once a delight for the Latinist and an appealing introduction to Ovid for the general reader .
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England's poet laureate Ted Hughes first turned his hand to Ovid's Metamorphoses when he--along with other prominent English-language poets such as Seamus Heaney, Amy Clampitt, and Charles Simic--contributed poems to the anthology After Ovid. In the three years following After Ovid's publication, Hughes continued working with the Metamorphoses, eventually completing the 24 translations collected here. Culling from 250 original tales, Hughes has chosen some of the most violent and disturbing narratives Ovid wrote, including the stories of Echo and Narcissus, Bacchus and Pentheus, and Semele's rape by Jove. Classical purists may be offended at the occasional liberties Hughes takes with Ovid's words, but no one will quarrel with the force and originality of Hughes's verse, or with its narrative skill. This translation is an unusual triumph--a work informed by the passion and wit of Ovid, yet suffused with Hughes's own distinctive poetic sensibility.About the Author:
Ted Hughes was Poet Laureate of England and the author of many books of poetry. His works include Phedre, Birthday Letters, and Oresteia of Aeschylus, among others. He died in 1998.
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