Discussion

Shortlisted by PEN for "Best Book of Poetry in Translation"


Michael Wolfe's New Book and What Poets & Scholars Are Saying

Over a hundred tiny poems, some dating back to the dawn of Greek writing, collected in five historical sections with spare introductions that offer a context for these delicate, intimate bits of tombstone verse, one to a page with the Greek and the English, each summing up in a handful of words another ancient life. These epitaphs are anything but morbid: Tile by tile, they form a vivid mosaic, full of life.

Simply stunning.” Richard Wilbur

These translations are alive and potent. They are something very special. Funny, moving, cutting, ferocious.” Philip Levine

“Exquisite, economical proof that nothing ever changes. A wonderful book!” Kay Ryan

“A book Keats would deeply appreciate. A book to keep handy by bed or bath.” Bill Berkson

"…Presented in beautiful translations followed by the originals. Often faithful, almost line-by-line translations are offered... Excessive rhetorical devices are avoided…The author tends to respect the very structure of the originals...These devices, combined with a plain and simple language, produce a sober musicality that fully captures the forceful and unaffected style of the Greek texts...This is the book of a poet, not of a scholar: it will make excellent reading for a non-specialist audience. Those not acquainted with the Greek, in particular, will be given an idea of the sound of the original poems." --The Classical Journal.




Woman with stylus and wax tablet, thinking. Pompeii.

Meleager's Epitaph. A Greek Translation by Michael Wolfe

My father was Eucrates.
Meleager is my name.
Born in Gadara, Palestine
I came of age in Tyre...
________________

Click on the Blog page above for a full translation.


Some Books by Michael Wolfe

Translation, Poetry
A selection of 125 Greek epitaphs translated into English and introduced by Michael Wolfe, with a Foreword by Richard P. Martin. Johns Hopkins University Press. "A wonderful book!" Kay Ryan. "His translations of the Greek epitaphs are simply stunning." Richard Wilbur. Widely reviewed in Classics journals and in: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2013/04/codeunknown-reading-writing/ Arts Fuse: http://artsfuse.org/79947/fuse-poetry-review-lapidary-ends-cut-these-words-into-my-stone/
Travel Writing Anthology: 2016 Expanded Edition
“…an exemplary job of detailing the ceremonies performed at Mecca and the reasons behind them. The (twenty-five) chosen excerpts give the reader a sense of how the hajj has changed over time as well as how constant the central ceremonies have remained. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.” Library Journal (STARRED review) “A tradition of Muslim writing aimed at the insiders and out.” The Boston Globe. In Quality Paper and E-book formats
Nonfiction Travel Narrative
“It requires a special sensitivity to write well about the Hadj…Michael Wolfe’s tone is exactly right.” The Times Literary Supplement. In Quality Paper and E-book formats

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