The Homeric Hymns
Asphodel Press, Jan 1, 2006 - Poetry - 216 pages
This translation was nominated for a National Book Award. 'The Homeric Hymns' are among the most important primary documents we have of Greek mythology. These poems treat the gods and goddesses individually, setting down the language by which they were known and addressed, telling the stories of their encounters with each other and with mortals. Composed after Homer -- in his style -- they offer a view of the Greek mythic world from the 7th century BC into the Alexandrian period. The hymns return what myth handbooks inevitably lose -- the gaiety and dread of people speaking of and to the countenances of the divine. The author's translation is literal, but his poetic form and his language are contemporary and idiomatic. Using a variety of open measures, he makes new for us the poetic wonder and excitement of the originals. Boer's extremely clear, unornamented style restores to the Greek formulas -- those habitual epithets which often seem odd to the modern reader -- the sense that they are necessary to shared wonder and reverent song.