What Do I Read Next?
Those who are not only interested in Old English literature but also charmed by Burton Raffel’s masterful translation should pick up Signet’s 1999 reprint of Raffel’s Beowulf. Considerably longer than “The Seafarer” elegy, this epic narrates the exploits of some of the great heroes of the Germanic tribal past.
Hard-core enthusiasts of Old English literature and Burton Raffel will also want to read Poems and Prose from the Old English, translated and edited by Burton Raffel with the editorial assistance of Alexandra Hennessey Olsen in Yale University Press’s 1998 reissue of an entirely restructured and expanded version of Raffel’s outof- print classic. In fact, this edition includes the very translation of “The Seafarer” used here in Poetry for Students along with prose works by King Alfred the Great and other great prose stylists, lay and monastic, with more elegies, heroic poems, religious verse, and wisdom poetry.
Just to round out one’s knowledge of the literature of the Old English period, any interested student should read Stanley B. Greenfield’s Critical History of Old English Literature, published by New York University Press in 1965. Greenfield does an excellent job of providing indepth analysis of the entire Old English corpus using modern translations only. Translations from Raffel’s Poems and Prose from the Old English are especially featured in Greenfield’s study.featured in Greenfield's study.