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Translated by Edwin Morgan
RRP: GBP 9.95
You Save: GBP 0.99
Price: GBP 8.96
Currently Out of Stock
ISBN: 978 1 857548 41 9
Categories: Scottish, Translation
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 2005
216 x 135 x 9 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Midnight comes; kings are clay; men are earth.
Great souls can live with a memento mori,
as the Hittites say. You will carry your story,
if not your life, across uncounted years...
(Act 5, scene 4)
Edwin Morgan's verse play translation of the Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh brings an ancient story to life in a supple, vigorous idiom that moves easily between ritual, comedy and moments of intense beauty. Here a god-king, a great city builder, learns the timeless truth that the only immortality lies in what will be remembered and recorded of his actions. Gilgamesh's quest takes him, and the audience, on a journey through a world that is both mythic and familiar, inhabited by terrifying demons and 'disappeared' political prisoners, by gods and singing transvestites and a Glaswegian jester--and by Enkidu, the beloved child of nature who dies of a virus in the blood, through whom Gilgamesh learns to understand the meaning of loss.
Awards won by Edwin Morgan Winner, 2000 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry
Praise for Edwin Morgan 'distinctly and excitingly nonconformist [...] they stunningly convey the poet's love for Glasgow. The traditional structure is interjected with Scottish language and anecdotes, making it a thought-provoking read.'
'A broad celebration of one of the most lively and creative writers of his time'
Mike Ferguson, Stride Magazine
'For readers new to Morgan, it forms a perfect introduction, showcasing his fearless experimentation... For those who already know Morgan's work, this selection is a welcome romp of rediscovery. It offers a reminder that he masters every form - from sonnets to strict rhyme schemes with free rhythm to the disintegrating word curtains of some of his early concrete poems - and gilds them all with the humour and humanity that infuse his own effervescent voice.... He never shrinks from the darkness but the shimmering beauty of his words somehow makes it more bearable.'
Fiona Rintoul, The Herald
'Thank God, thank whatever all-seeing quick-witted deity you like, we have Edwin Morgan to show us how to live, and keep living..."pleasure" is nowhere strong enough to convey the joyous energy of his work.'
'Edwin Morgan's translation of twent-five poems into Scots, now reissued after almost half a century, finesses one difficulty by substituting another. Wi Haill Voice gives Mayakovsky a shout from the streets without making him a Dickensian exercised in dialect - Scots provides the necessary sense of estrangement.'
William Logan, The New Criterion
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