Aeneid: Book VI by Virgil

By Virgil

In a momentous ebook, Seamus Heaney's translation of ebook VI of the Aeneid, Virgil's epic poem composed someday among 29 and 19 BC, follows the hero, Aeneas, on his descent into the underworld. In Stepping Stones, a booklet of interviews carried out through Dennis O'Driscoll, Heaney stated the significance of the poem to his writing, noting that 'there's one Virgilian trip that has certainly been a continuing presence, and that's Aeneas's enterprise into the underworld. The motifs in booklet VI were in my head for years - the golden bough, Charon's barge, the search to fulfill the color of the father.'

In this new translation, Heaney employs an analogous deft dealing with of the unique mixed with the immediacy of language and ideal poetic voice as was once on exhibit in his translation of Beowulf, a reimagining which, within the phrases of Bernard O'Donoghue, introduced the traditional poem again to lifestyles in 'a astonishing mixture of the poem's unique spirit and Heaney's voice'.

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Sample text

30 A LONG-EXPECTED PARTY 'In an envelope, if you must know,' said Bilbo impatiently. 'There on the mantelpiece. Well, no! ' He hesitated. ' he said softly to himself. 'Yet after all, why not? ' Gandalf looked again very hard at Bilbo, and there was a gleam in his eyes. 'I think, Bilbo,' he said quietly, 'I should leave it behind. ' 'Well yes – and no. Now it comes to it, I don't like parting with it at all, I may say. And I don't really see why I should. ' he asked, and a curious change came over his voice.

My precious. ' The wizard's face remained grave and attentive, and only a flicker in his deep eyes showed that he was startled and indeed alarmed. ' 'But I say it now. And why not? Even if Gollum said the same once. It's not his now, but mine. ' Gandalf stood up. He spoke sternly. 'You will be a fool if you do. Bilbo,' he said. 'You make that clearer with every word you say. It has got far too much hold on you. Let it go! ' 'I'll do as I choose and go as I please,' said Bilbo obstinately. ' said Gandalf.

Rumours of strange events had by now spread all over the field, but Frodo would only say no doubt everything will be cleared up in the morning. About midnight carriages came for the important folk. One by one they rolled away, filled with full but very unsatisfied hobbits. Gardeners came by arrangement, and removed in wheel-barrows those that had inadvertently remained behind. Night slowly passed. The sun rose. The hobbits rose rather later. Morning went on. People came and began (by orders) to clear away the pavilions and the tables and the chairs, and the spoons and knives and bottles and plates, and the lanterns, and the flowering shrubs in boxes, and the crumbs and cracker-paper, the forgotten bags and gloves and handkerchiefs, and the uneaten food (a very small item).

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