Top positive review
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on 14 December 2014
The Iliad is a moving story, and the original is a noble poem. It has been said that poetry is what gets lost in translation, so making a poetic translation naturally involves a degree of re-invention. When the scholar Bentley complained "It's a pretty poem, Mr Pope, but you must not call it Homer", he was missing the point: a literal version would have been no poem at all. The other great poetic version is that of Shakespeare's contemporary Chapman:
"This said, he reached to take his son, who (of his arms afraid,
And then the horsehair plume, with which he was so overlaid,
Nodded so horribly) he clinged back to his nurse and cried.
Laughter affected his great sire, who doffed and laid aside
His fearful helm, that on the earth cast around it light." Chapman
"Thus having spoke, the illustrious chief of Troy
Reached his fond arms to clasp the lovely boy.
The babe clung crying to his nurse's breast,
Scared at the dazzling helm and nodding crest.
With secret pleasure each fond parent smiled,
And Hector hastèd to relieve his child,
The glittering terrors from his brow unbound,
And placed the beaming helmet on the ground." Pope
The Impala edition is a handsome volume, in large, clear type with generous margins.