A new verse translation by award-winning poet Alicia Stallings of one of the foundational works of ancient Greece
TLS BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2018, selected by Rachel Hadas and Emily Wilson
The ancient Greeks revered Hesiod, believing he had beaten Homer in a singing contest and that after his dead body was thrown to sea, it was brought back by dolphins. His Works and Days is one of the most important early works of Greek poetry. Ostensibly written by the poet to chide his lazy brother, it recounts the story of Pandora’s box and humanity’s decline since the Golden Age, and can be read as a celebration of rural life and a hymn to work. Alicia Stallings’s new translation breathes new life into Hesiod’s work, rendering its vivid poetry for a new generation of classics readers.
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Very little is known about Hesiod and it cannot definitely be proved that the same man wrote both the Theogony and Works and Days. He probably lived in the eighth century BC (contemporary with Homer) in Boeotia on the Greek… More about Hesiod
“Stallings’s new translation of Hesiod’s Works and Days – witty, gritty, and unsettlingly relevant – is not to be missed. Toil; corruption in high places; injustice; the prevailing sense that things are getting worse – none of these prevents the Muses’ chosen poets from doing their indispensable and soul-refreshing work.” —Rachel Hadas, Times Literary Supplement
“Hesiod was the first self-declared poet of Ancient Greece, who boasted of having won a three-legged cauldron for his verses. A. E. Stallings brings him back to life in her rhyming translation of Works and Days, which mingles farming tips, myths and evocation of the seasons: ‘when first the cuckoo cuckoos in the oak.’ Stallings’s lively and learned notes make it a treat.” —The Times
“A. E. Stallings new verse translation of Works and Days for Penguin is a splendid development upon a recent flurry of Hesiod translation and poetic response … Brilliantly sensitive … Stallings’s translation triumphs.” —The Oxonian Review
“Mixing rhyme and assonance, this is a Works and Days for the age of rap. By translating Hesiod as poetry, Stallings encourages us to realize that the poem should not just be the object of scholarly study, but can be read aloud for fun.” —Armand D’Angour, Times Literary Supplement