The Death of King Arthur
A New Verse Translation
“A new standard in the enterprise of bringing the past back into poetry.”—Tom Shippey, Wall Street Journal
First appearing around 1400, The Death of King Arthur is one of the most widely beloved and spectacularly alliterative poems penned in Middle English. While it is more than six centuries old, this magisterial new translation has finally given American readers the ability to experience the splendor and poignancy of the original. Echoing the lyrical passion that so distinguished Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf, Simon Armitage has produced a virtuosic translation of a timeless masterpiece, one that follows Arthur’s bloody conquests across Europe, all the way to his spectacular and even bloodier downfall. This unparalleled presentation of the greatest Arthurian tale promises to become the definitive edition for generations to come.
“Invitingly ingenious and inventive.” — Jeremy Noel-Tod, Guardian
“Armitage, on top form, renders [Arthur] expertly.” — Bill Greenwell, Independent
“Armitage has triumphed. . . . The verse requires attention; but, once you are attuned to the alliterative structure, it’s as swift as the swish of a sword.” — David Blackburn, Spectator