Related to This Book

The Word Exchange

Anglo-Saxon Poems in Translation

Greg Delanty (Editor, St. Michael's College), Michael Matto (Editor, Adelphi University)

With a Foreword by Seamus Heaney


The dazzling variety of Anglo-Saxon poetry brought to life by an all-star cast of contemporary poets in an authoritative bilingual edition.

Encompassing a wide range of voices-from weary sailors to forlorn wives, from heroic saints to drunken louts, from farmers hoping to improve their fields to sermonizers looking to save your soul—the 123 poems collected in The Word Exchange complement the portrait of medieval England that emerges from Beowulf, the most famous Anglo-Saxon poem of all. Offered here are tales of battle, travel, and adventure, but also songs of heartache and longing, pearls of lusty innuendo and clear-eyed stoicism, charms and spells for everyday use, and seven "hoards" of delightfully puzzling riddles.

Featuring all-new translations by seventy-four of our most celebrated poets—including Seamus Heaney, Robert Pinsky, Billy Collins, Eavan Boland, Paul Muldoon, Robert Hass, Gary Soto, Jane Hirshfield, David Ferry, Molly Peacock, Yusef Komunyakaa, Richard Wilbur, and many others—The Word Exchange is a landmark work of translation, as fascinating and multivocal as the original literature it translates.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • December 2010
  • ISBN 978-0-393-07901-2
  • 6.5 × 9.6 in / 576 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverThe Word Exchange: Anglo-Saxon Poems in Translation


Endorsements & Reviews

“Starred Review: This brilliant anthology infuses new vigor into Old English poetry and will delight scholars and general readers alike…. The results are stunning. The different translations convey the multivocal variety characterizing the originals, a quality usually absent from selections translated by one hand…. Highly recommended.” — Library Journal

“Starred Review. Hefty and easy to like, fit at once for the classroom and the kitchen table, this anthology is a rare beast, a commercial opportunity that also fulfills a real literary need…. The editors have produced a book the many fans of Heaney’s Beowulf might take home and dip into, almost at random, for years.” — Publishers Weekly