Share / Discuss

Everything Old (English) Is New Again

When Craig Williamson made the decision to tackle something no one else had ever done before—translate every known Old English poem into modern alliterative, strong-stress verse—he faced two fears. The first was that someone else would beat him to it.

“The other thing I worried about,” the Alfred H. and Peggi Bloom Professor and Honors Program coordinator laughs, “is that I would drop dead before I finished.”

Happily, Williamson translated the 32,000 surviving lines in about a decade—growing so adept that he was completing 50 lines a day at his creative peak. This February saw the release of the 1,248-page, gold-ribbon-bookmarked The Complete Old English Poems (University of Pennsylvania Press): his sixth book, and one that will live for the ages.

Read more about it here.