Virgil, the greatest poet of Rome's golden age, was born in 70 B.C. in northern Italy. His Eclogues—satirical, passionate, nostalgic—are among the most influential poems of love and pastoral fancy ever written. David Ferry, whose versions of the Odes of Horace and Gilgamesh established him as a master translator, skillfully captures the playfulness and tones of Virgil's magical verse. The Eclogues of Virgil gave definitive form to the pastoral mode, and these magically beautiful poems, which were influential in so much subsequent literature, perhaps best exemplify what pastoral can do.
"Song replying to song replying to song," touchingly comic, poignantly sad, sublimely joyful, the various music that these shepherds make echoes in scenes of repose and harmony, and of hardship and trouble in work and love. A bilingual edition, The Eclogues of Virgil includes notes and an Introduction that describes the fundamental role of this book in the pastoral tradition.
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David Ferry, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry for his translation of Gilgamesh, is a poet and translator who has also won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, given by the Academy of American Poets, and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, given by the Library of Congress. In 2001, he received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2002 he won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. Ferry is the Sophie Chantal Hart Professor of English Emeritus at Wellesley College.
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