Any translation is a reading. Chris McCully reads Beowulf as an epic written in English using all the complex metrical conventions of its time, as well as distinctive epic tropes including sea-crossings, oracular pronouncements and encounters with the monstrous.
This version renders the original in readable contemporary English but also keeps as close as it can to the older, alliterative metrical system, so that readers may experience something of the textures and formal properties of the original.
An `Afterword' explains the translator's formal choices and explores the nature of this epic, with its emphasis on tribe, location and mortality. `McCully captures the special magic and power of the Beowulf poet's word-pile and life-thoughts.' (Martin Duffell, Fellow of Queen Mary, University of London)