“Wonderfully readable…Merwin’s decades of experience as a translator and his poetic intuition give him an advantage here. His Gawain is a graceful read and, at the same time, remains as true as possible to the sense and style of the original…These are the kind of nuances that word-worshippers will linger over–but not before rushing through the story first to get to the good parts.”
–Sheila Farr, The Seattle Times
“Readers who enjoy a well-told story, not lacking in sex and violence but also endowed with a sense of moral purpose, will find a wonderful one here…Merwin’s translation has a directness and simplicity that can be quite powerful…Sir Gawain and the Green Knight endures–charming, strange, tantalizingly mysterious–and Merwin’s translation catches at least some of the gleam of its vanished world.”
–Merle Rubin, Los Angeles Times
"Gawain remains, centuries after it was written, a poem of uncanny power. It has the tapestried richness of legend, but also an astonishing psychological complexity. Its lines are elegantly wrought, but they propel us through an adventure filled with erotic entanglements, dire challenges, and mysterious landscapes. Here is that rare poem with both the epic dimensions of ageless myth and the eerie intimacy of last night’s dream. The clarity, ingenuity, and force of W. S. Merwin’s translation will enable a new generation of readers to discover a remarkable masterpiece."
–J. D. McClatchy