Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
on 21 September 2009
This is a very impressive translation of Virgil's epic poem. Ahl achieves wonders by creating a lively and stylish poem that works well in modern English all the while keeping his translation surprisingly close to the original Latin; his version is much more literal than, say, David West's prose version. This is even more impressive when one learns that Ahl has also retained the metre of the original, creating a verse translation in Virgilian hexameter that skips along fluidly, just as Virgil's poem does. This aspect of the translation really brings it to life, and thrillingly celebrates in the poem's metric qualities - something many modern translators fail to achieve and thus miss a vital element of Virgil's style.
Ahl clearly understands this text thoroughly, down to the tiniest details, something that becomes increasing apparent when reading his insightful notes that accompany his translation and his Translator's Note that prefaces it. Ahl demonstrates the skill of translation at its very finest and this version really is the next best thing to experiencing this epic in its original Latin. As a postgraduate Classics student, I cannot recommend this translation highly enough, as it has proved invaluable to me both as a resource for studying Virgil's text as well as enjoying an English translation in its own right.