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The Georgics of Virgil, Translated by David Ferry.
DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 202 pages. Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; (2005). A poem in four books probably written between 35 and 29 B.C. The introduction treats the poem's historical background and its relationship to the early years of Augustan Rome, Virgil's use of prior literary material, his stylistic and metrical expertise, and questions of poetic structure. There is also a section interpreting the poem in light of recent scholarship, which seeks to consider the poem as part of the broad unity of Virgil's career, rather than from a narrow didactic approach.
Virgil's affectionate poem of the land brings us the disappointments as well as the rewards of the countryman's year-round devotion to his crops, his vines and olives, livestock great and small, and the complex society of his bees. Part agricultural manual, part political poem and allegory; “The Georgics” scenes are real and vivid, allowing the reader to feel the sights, sounds, and textures of the ancient Italian landscape.
The translator, David Ferry, author of “Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations”, is also the translator of “Gilgamesh”, “The Odes of Horace”, “The Eclogues of Virgil”, and “The Epistles of Horace”. He is also winner of the Harold Morton London Translation Award.
CONDITION: Remainder mark on bottom, otherwise New, never read.
PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK.
PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW.
REVIEW: John Dryden called Virgil's Georgics, written between 37-30 B.C., "the best poem by the best poet”. The poem, newly translated by the poet and translator David Ferry, is one of the great songs, maybe the greatest we have, of human accomplishment in difficult, and beautiful circumstances, and in the context of all we share in nature. The “Georgics” celebrates the crops, trees, and animals, and, above all, the human beings who care for them. It takes the form of teaching about this care: the tilling of fields, the tending of vines, the raising of the cattle and the bees. There's joy in the detail of Virgil's descriptions of work well done, and ecstatic joy in his praise of the very life of things, and passionate commiseration too, because of the vulnerability of men and all other creatures, with all they have to contend with: storms, and plagues, and wars, and all mischance.
Publius Vergilius Maro was born in 70 B.C. near Mantua in Cisalpine Gaul, northern Italy, where his parents owned a farm. He had a good education and went to Rome to perfect it. There he came under the influence of Epicureanism and later joined an Epicurean colony on the Gulf of Naples where he lived for the rest of his life. In 42 B.C. he began to write the “Eclogues”, which he completed in 37 B.C., the year in which he accompanied Horace to Brindisi. “Eclogues” was a collection of ten pastoral poems, often read as a prophecy of tranquility and world peace. “The Georgics” which were finished in 29 B.C., envisioned a Golden Age for the people of rural Italy after the civil wars. Upon completing “The Georgics”, Virgil devoted the rest of his life to the composition of the “Aeneid”. In his last year he started a journey to Greece, but he fell ill at Megara and returned to Italy where he died in 19 B.C. on reaching Brindisi.
REVIEW: This is the best poetry of Ancient Rome, rendered by the best translator of modern America. As fresh minded and sparkling as his deservedly praised “Odes of Horace” and his rendering of “Gilgamesh”. Ferry's translation wonderfully preserves the exquisite harmonies of the mode while giving it a vigorous edge of reality. Ferry has achieved a high degree of fidelity to what Virgil wrote; simple, luminous clarity.
REVIEW: “The Georgics” of Virgil (70-19 B.C.) is the first descriptive poem in Western Literature. Although Dryden’s comment that it was “the best poem by the best poet” was possible extravagant; it has been admired and imitated through the ages, and at one time was part of the reading of every educated man, A eulogy to Italy as the temperate land of a perpetual spring, and a celebration of the values of rustic piety, the ideal of the chaste family and the simplicity and hardiness of the Italian people, “The Georgics” is probably the supreme achievement of Latin poetry. With this verse translation, L. P. Wilkinson provides full annotation, a general introduction, and detailed introductions to each of the four books.
REVIEW: Virgil's “Georgics” is a paean to the earth and all that grows and grazes there. It is an ancient work, yet one that speaks to our times as powerfully as it did to the poet's. This unmatched translation presents the poem in an American idiom that is elegant and sensitive to the meaning and rhythm of the original. The word “georgics” means farming. Virgil was born to a farming family, and his poem gives specific instructions to Italian farmers along with a passionate message to care for the land and for the crops and animals that it sustains. The “Georgics” is also a heartfelt cry for returning farmers and their families to land they had lost through a series of dispiriting political events. It is often considered the most technically accomplished and beautiful of all of Virgil's work.
REVIEW: Translation of Latin poems on Italian agriculture by the renowned first-century Roman poet. Virgil's Georgics is considered one of the greatest poems in western literature. It purports to be a didactic poem on agriculture, but its true subject is man and his place in literature and society. The definitive text is presented here, with accessible commentary to render fullest understanding of the work available for students and scholars. A sunlit view of some of the richest poetry ever written.
REVIEW: Translation of "The Georgics" (29 B.C.), Virgil's celebration of the main aspects of Italian agriculture, i.e. corn, vines and olives, cattle and horses, and beekeeping. Not to be regarded as a farmer's manual, "The Georgics" represent an affirmation of the "good life" of the Italian farmer; harsh and laborious but dignified and bringing the rewards of honest contentment and the knowledge that agriculture is the only basis of the greatness of the state. "The Georgics" are probably the supreme achievement of Latin poetry. This volume also contains a substantial introduction, setting "The Georgics" in their historical and literary perspective.
REVIEW: David Ferry’s translation of the enchanting ‘Georgics’ is for poetry lovers like a drink of water from a country spring on a summer day. It’s refreshing, invigorating, almost intoxicating in the pleasure of discovery it offers. The ‘Georgics’ may well, in its vividness, in its exactitude, be Ferry’s most winning and impressive translation yet. To glorify, to sing of things just as they are, was Virgil’s great task in the “Georgics”. Ferry’s task has been to present to the modern English reader Virgil’s great and affecting poem in all its grandeur and simplicity.
REVIEW: The warm and friendly poet from Mantua, Publius Virgilius Maro, in his didactic poem entitled the "Georgics," covers topics relating to farming. In book one he deals with crops; in book two trees and shrubs; in book three livestock; and in book four bees. Widely regarded by many scholars as one of the best Latin poems ever, and ostensibly a work devoted to Roman agricultural practices, this is a deeply philosophic poem on the possibility of a regenerative universe.
REVIEW: Virgil wrote the “Georgics” in a time of turmoil, delivering a didactic poem, a lecture, to inspire the militarized Romans to return to the attentive, productive farming on which Roman power originally was built. Perhaps he was something of a Wendell Berry for his time, for Virgil teaches, preaches, scolds, praises, admonishes and laments all in each of the four parts of the poem. Two of his overarching themes are that man must toil to make the world productive, but that disaster can befall every endeavor despite work and know-how. These themes are as relevant to a 21st century office worker as they were to a Roman farmer.
Finally, Virgil is also deeply patriotic, lavishing praise on Italy for its bountiful soil and climate, promoting it as the best place on Earth. Virgil knew firsthand the tragedy and injustice of politics and war (his family lost their land in northern Italy to resettled veterans), and does not turn a blind eye to the flaws in his nation and the troubles of his times. But he sees redemption in the hard work of making his native land fruitful, just as any American today might do.
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