Emily Wilson has written a lean, fleet-footed translation of The Odyssey that recaptures Homer’s ‘nimble gallop’ and brings an ancient epic to new life.
The first great adventure story in the Western canon, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage, family and identity; and about travellers, hospitality and the changing meanings of home in a strange world.
This vivid new poetic translation—the first ever by a woman—matches the number of lines in the Greek original, thus striding at Homer’s sprightly pace. Eschewing showy poeticisms and high-flown rhetoric, Emily Wilson employs elemental, resonant language and a five-beat line to produce a translation with an enchanting ‘rhythm and rumble’ that avoids proclaiming its own grandeur or importance.
An engrossing tale told in a compelling new voice that allows contemporary readers to luxuriate in Homer’s magical descriptions and similes and to thrill at the tension and excitement of its hero’s fantastical adventures, Wilson’s Odyssey recaptures what is ‘epic’ about this wellspring of world literature.
This event is presented in conjunction with Seamus Heaney HomePlace