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HWÆT!: Reviews and Comments

“[Peter Glassgold’s] book is a triumph of scholarship and humor. The Old English versions are printed en face, so there’s no trouble understanding, and a section of notes glosses some of the more difficult, or imaginative, renderings. How Pound would have loved to see his Metro become the “underweġe,” or the chance to read “The River-Merchant’s Wife” in Old English.

—S.P., Sagetrieb


Hwæt! is…the title of a book by Peter Glassgold which contains translations of modern American poems into the tribe’s language, Old English. The idea is to teach us something about the nature of present-day poetry. But it’s also a lot of fun, kind of like visualizing Ronald Reagan dressed in a toga.

“You don’t need know any Old English to enjoy this book. The original poems and their translations are printed on facing pages. There’s a helpful note on the pronunciation of Old English….With a little practice, you’ll soon find yourself reciting Old English fluently.”

—Jonathan Treitel, The Stanford Daily


“I had a fine time re-learning some Old English…and I think an attentive reader can follow me with equal enjoyment and linguistic gain….[Hwæt!] ought to stimulate other witty lovers of language to explore other avenues of translation.”

—Doris Grumbach, The Small Press Review