by Joshua Packard, Fullness of Happy
I cannot recommend enough the reading of the Old English heroic epic tale of “Beowulf”. When I was very young, my Uncle Nathaniel told a paraphrased version to myself and my brother of this epic poem. Sometimes, I think he gave me the best version, even though later in high school, and again a few weeks ago, I read the superb Seamus Heaney verse translation. “Beowulf” is possibly the oldest surviving English story that we have today. It fills the need we have as human beings to long for virtuous and strong heroes who put their own safety and survival on the line to save and protect the innocent and vulnerable.
The epic poem is really in three parts, where the hero Beowulf fights against three monsters who prey on the people in the party hall called the Hall of Hearts. Beowulf fights grotesque monsters and is rewarded greatly. I cannot do very much justice to the quality of the writing, but I recommend everyone at least read this once, if not for enjoyment than at least for historical literacy, as this is a very crucial piece of literature and has a very heroic and exciting tale to tell.
Seamus Heaney's translation can be purchased at Amazon here.
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