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A New Rendering in English Verse

by David Ferry

Reviewed December 7, 2002.
The Noonday Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1992.  99 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (811 FER)

It’s amazing what you can find on the back library shelves.  I was working in the back of the library and saw this volume, in a convenient paperback edition, and couldn’t resist checking it out.  I confess that my interest was piqued by Jean-Luc Picard of “Star Trek:  Next Generation.” He quotes it in one episode as the first great epic that humans produced.

This ancient Sumerian poem tells the story of a warrior king who may have lived about 5,000 years ago.  The author of this volume did not translate the story but used existing translations and scholarship to put the story into readable English poetry.  The book doesn’t take long to read, and is a haunting and beautiful old story of friendship. 

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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