The Poet Laureate’s new version of the Middle English poem
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Pearl is an entrancing allegorical tale of grief and lost love, as the narrator is led on a Dantean journey through sorrow to redemption by his vanished beloved. Retaining all the alliterative music of the original, a Middle English poem thought to be by the same anonymous author responsible for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl is here brought to vivid and intricate life in the care of one of the finest poets writing today.
'[Armitage] conveys that feeling of the almost-but-not-quite comprehensible, the feeling that can make medieval art at once eerie and wonderful.'
Armitage decorates his faithful translation freely with bold flourishes [and] works with the woodcut vigour of the oral tradition.
'His Pearl has reanimated a strange, marvellous work at once far distant in time and brought vividly into the present.'
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