Difficult for me to say whether this is a good version or not as I have no knowledge of the original, I just wanted to read it. What I may do now is buy a copy with the original and translation. Introduction was easy to follow, not like some.
I cannot recommend too highly the experience of listening to Seamus Heaney reading - or should it be reciting? - his own translation of Beowulf. The original poem was not intended to be read on the page, but to be heard, and Seamus Heaney has carried over this intention into his own words, and his manner of delivering them. He held me fascinated. The sound of Heaney's voice adds also to the sense that the poem has a contemporary resonance in the troubles of Northern Ireland. The poem deals with the longing of a community to be rid of a malevolent bringer of violence which has killed many men over many years, and it sets out as admirable those who deal fairly with those from a different community, who honour commitments and hold no grudges. There is a passage in which the poet describes how old men goad young men to break up a peaceful wedding celebration by dragging up old resentments and humiliations to be avenged. You feel that Heaney recognises in the ancient poem a terrible truth that goes on and on spurring men to murder and hatred through century after century, even to present day Ireland and Kosovo and Rwanda. If you think you know Beowulf, perhaps because you had to study it at university, listen to Heaney's poem and be amazed at how it springs to life.
I enjoyed Seamus Heaney's first couple of anthologies of poems,however after that I just couldn't get into them at all and I gave up. I thought I would give Beowulf a go anyway and I was pleasantly surprised. It is not so much a poem,more a story told with poetic language. I found it fairly easy to read and it was written beautifully by the celebrated Irish poet. It is a fable about a Scandinavian warrior named Beowulf who travels to Denmark to rid their land of an evil monster named Grendel. Afterwards he returns to his Geat homeland to become king.He reigns for fifty years until he meets his doom at the hands of a dragon. The story reads mellifluosly with one honeyed line following the other. I could recommend this book to those who don't necessarily appreciate poetry and to those into myths and legends. Heaney brings this old story to life and updates it for the 21st century. It is an impressive work.
Beowulf is an exciting tale and this fast-paced and wonderful translation allows modern readers to explore the story in all of its glory. I first had to read Beowulf as an assignment and was skeptical about reading a story written so long ago. Fortunately, I picked up this translation by Seamus Heaney. As a result I have discovered the wonderful world of medieval literature and it's all thanks to this book. Buy it and read it. Who knows, maybe you'll discover that you've been missing out on a really great thing.