Test Cover Image of:  The Complete Old English Poems

The Complete Old English Poems

Contributor: Tom Shippey
Translated by: Craig Williamson

At long last we have Craig Williamson's beautiful and haunting translations of all of the Old English poems into modern strong-stress, alliterative verse, along with his introductions, his essay on translation, and noted medievalist Tom Shippey's introduction on the literary scope and vision of these timeless poems.

Author Information

Craig Williamson, Swarthmore College; Tom Shippey, Professor Emeritus of English at Saint Louis University.


"Craig Williamson's ambitious undertaking—translating the entire corpus of Old English poetry, in all its variety, ambiguity, and alterity—succeeds in providing both an unprecedented resource for scholars and a compelling point of entry into the Anglo-Saxon world for beginners. His introductory remarks to the collection as a whole and to each of the poems take us even further, into a subtle and timely manifesto for the value of the humanities and the work of 'hard listening' that can connect and engage people across profound differences. Like the audiences imagined by the Old English poems themselves, many readers now and in the future will be inspired by Williamson's learned, loving new articulation of old voices."—Elaine Tuttle Hansen, author of Reading Wisdom in Old English Poetry

"It is cause for celebration to have at last a translation of the entire Old English poetic corpus, moreover a rendering that is discerning, nuanced, and poetically crafted. The earliest English verse has never been such a delight to read."—R. D. Fulk, author of An Introductory Grammar of Old English, with an Anthology of Readings

"Craig Williamson's monumental volume takes us 'across the bridge of language that lifts / Over the river of years,' as his dedicatory poem promises. A brilliant poet himself, his translations seamlessly weave together modern and Old English language patterns, and his learned, helpful introductions allow the sophistication and beauty of each poem to be grasped anew. The volume is a gift to generations of medievalists, poetry lovers, and seekers-out of elusive mysteries."—Peggy A. Knapp, Carnegie Mellon University

"These are modern renderings with bite and muscle, full of chewy sounds to delight any ear or voice, entering the mute reader's eye and resounding within: at times filling a raucous hall, at times gently whispering into an interior fold of woe, of memory. In these resonant spaces we hear again the scop's voice."—Benjamin Bagby, performer of Beowulf and director of the medieval music ensemble Sequentia

Praise for Craig Williamson's translations

Audience: College/higher education;