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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.
Hughes, the renowned author of innumerable works of poetry, prose, and children's literature and currently the poet laureate of England, offers a lively, readable, rendering of 24 tales from Ovid's Metamorphosis. The translations are unrhymed poems in their own right, but this collection is most welcome for making the most popular book of the classical era?a veritable source-book for writers during the Middle Ages, not to mention Chaucer and Shakespeare?so pleasantly accessible to the general reader. A fine addition to all libraries; highly recommended.?Thomas F. Merrill, Univ. of Delaware, Newark
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Some translations of Ovid are slow. Not this one. The Humphries -- long standard -- is clear but slow and earthbound. This is the most poetic translation I have found. Read morePublished on July 16 2004 by Ken Braithwaite
There's too much Hughes and not enough Ovid in these versions--and since Ovid was 20 times a better poet than Hughes, do the math yourself. Read morePublished on Oct. 7 1999
as i don't know latin i must plead ignorance on how well these stack up against the originals. but hughes has done a wonderful job of making these stories fresh, full of life and... Read morePublished on Jan. 26 1999