Listen in: The Owl and the Nightingale

Listen in: The Owl and the Nightingale

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The Owl and the Nightingale, one of the earliest literary works in Middle English, is a lively, anonymous comic poem about two birds who embark on a war of words in a wood, with a nearby poet reporting their argument in rhyming couplets, line by line and blow by blow. In this engaging and energetic verse translation, Simon Armitage captures the verve and humor of this dramatic tale with all the cut and thrust of the original.

Listen to the Introduction, read by the author.

About the Author

Simon Armitage is UK Poet Laureate and professor of poetry at the University of Leeds. The former Oxford Professor of Poetry, he also previously taught at Princeton University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In addition to celebrated translations of Sir Gawain and the Green KnightThe Death of King Arthur, and Pearl, he has published more than a dozen poetry collections and three bestselling works of nonfiction.