The Poetic Edda comprises a treasure trove of mythic and spiritual verse holding an important place in Nordic culture, literature, and heritage. Its tales of strife and death form a repository, in poetic form, of Norse mythology and heroic lore, embodying both the ethical views and the cultural life of the North during the late heathen and early Christian times. Collected by an unidentified Icelander, probably during the twelfth or thirteenth century, The Poetic Edda was rediscovered in Iceland in the seventeenth century by Danish scholars. Even then its value as poetry, as a source of historical information, and as a collection of entertaining stories was recognized. This meticulous translation succeeds in reproducing the verse patterns, the rhythm, the mood, and the dignity of the original in a revision that Scandinavian Studies says ´´may well grace anyone´s bookshelf.´´
In How to Kill a Dragon Calvert Watkins follows the continuum of poetic formulae in Indo-European languages, from Old Hittite to medieval Irish. He uses the comparative method to reconstruct traditional poetic formulae of considerable complexity that stretch as far back as the original common language. Thus, Watkins reveals the antiquity and tenacity of the Indo- European poetic tradition. Watkins begins this study with an introduction to the field of comparative Indo-European poetics; he explores the Saussurian notions of synchrony and diachrony, and locates the various Indo-European traditions and ideologies of the spoken word. Further, his overview presents case studies on the forms of verbal art, with selected texts drawn from Indic, Iranian, Greek, Latin, Hittite, Armenian, Celtic, and Germanic languages. In the remainder of the book, Watkins examines in detail the structure of the dragon/serpent- slaying myths, which recur in various guises throughout the Indo-European poetic tradition. He finds the ´´signature´´ formula for the myth--the divine hero who slays the serpent or overcomes adversaries--occurs in the same linguistic form in a wide range of sources and over millennia, including Old and Middle Iranian holy books, Greek epic, Celtic and Germanic sagas, down to Armenian oral folk epic of the last century. Watkins argues that this formula is the vehicle for the central theme of a proto-text, and a central part of the symbolic culture of speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language: the relation of humans to their universe, the values and expectations of their society. Therefore, he further argues, poetry was a social necessity for Indo- European society, where the poet could confer on patrons what they and their culture valued above all else: ´´imperishable fame.´´
This collection contains the poetic works of Walt Whitman. These poems reflect the vitality of a new nation and the vastness of its lands. They combine autobiographical, sociological and religious themes but did not conform to previous genres.
Featuring poetry in English, this volume includes selections from the three poetic alter egos that the Portuguese writer dubbed ´´heteronyms´´ - Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis and Alvaro de Campos - and from the varied work he wrote under his own name.
One of the great English Romantic poets, William Blake (1757-1827) was an artist, poet, mystic and visionary. Throughout his life Blake drew on a rich heritage of philosophy, religion and myth, to create a poetic worlds illuminated by his spiritual and revolutionary beliefs that have fascinated, intrigued and enchanted readers for generations.
Mary Oliver has been writing poetry for nearly five decades, and in that time she has become America´s foremost poetic voice on our experience of the physical world. This collection presents forty-two new poems-an entire volume in itself-along with works chosen by Oliver from six of the books she has published since New and Selected Poems, Volume One.
The Arabic poetic legacy is as vast as it is deep, spanning a period of fifteen centuries in regions from Morocco to Iraq. Poets include the legendary pre-Islamic warrior ´Antara Ibn Shaddad, medieval Andalusian poet Ibn Zaydun, the wandering poet Al-A´sha, and the influential Egyptian Romantic Ahmad Zaki Abu Shadi.