Pearl: A New Verse Translation by Simon ArmitagePearl: A New Verse Translation by Simon Armitage

Pearl: A New Verse Translation

Translated bySimon Armitage

Paperback | February 14, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$17.96 online 
$19.95 list price save 9%
Earn 90 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


One of our most ingenious interpreters of Middle English, Oxford Professor of Poetry Simon Armitage is celebrated for his “compulsively readable” translations (New York Times Book Review). A perfect complement to his historic translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl reanimates another beloved Medieval English masterpiece thought to be by the same anonymous author and housed in the same original fourteenth-century manuscript. Honoring the rhythms and alliterative music of the original, Armitage’s virtuosic translation describes a man mourning the loss of his Pearl—something that has “slipped away.” What follows is a tense, fascinating, and tender dialogue weaving through the throes of grief toward divine redemption. Intricate and endlessly connected, Armitage’s lyrical translation is a circular and perfected whole, much like the pearl itself.
Simon Armitage is the award-winning poet and translator of both Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Death of King Arthur, as well as several works of poetry, prose, and drama. He is the Oxford Professor of Poetry.
Title:Pearl: A New Verse TranslationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:704 pages, 8.24 × 5.48 × 0.4 inPublished:February 14, 2017Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1631492543

ISBN - 13:9781631492549


Editorial Reviews

[Armitage] conveys that feeling of the almost-but-not-quite comprehensible, the feeling that can make medieval art at once eerie and wonderful ….Strange art of this kind can give voice to the inarticulable…[By] the end of the poem, via Armitage’s translation (“longing for her”) and the unfolding of the allegory, that sad phrase—literally, love-longing—makes emotional sense. Across centuries, across languages, from dreams into waking life: the speech of the heart invites translation of many kinds. — The New YorkerAs ever, what makes Armitage’s work so inviting is his approachable turn of phrase…this is an emotional and religious meditation…Armitage continues to contribute the same service to culture as Carson, Heaney, Hughs and Graves; he gives blood transfusions to the texts which deserve preservation. — Huffington Post, UKTo a modern reader, the simple clarity of the medieval cosmos – with its binary oppositions of saved and damned, flawless and flawed, pearl and dust – is striking. The medieval narrative is therefore not unclear, but instead layered, recursive, ornamented…Re-presenting a simpler eschatology, polishing and burnishing it for today’s reader: this is Armitage’s great success as jeweller. — The London Magazine[An] expert translation. . . . Armitage successfully and exquisitely translates this classic poem, providing readers with a clear and complete version that honors the original. — Library JournalWith his new translation of Pearl, Armitage again makes a medieval classic sing for a new audiences. — ABC, Australia