This Folio Society fine edition of the stirring epic Beowulf places the original Old English text side by side with the greatest translation of modern times – an award-winning, deeply felt interpretation by Seamus Heaney.
From the shortest Haiku to ancient epics, from love sonnets to Greek tragedy - the Folio Society publishes a classic selection of beautiful poetry and drama books. Encompassing some of the most influential and powerful works ever composed each book features original illustrations and makes the perfect gift for any poetry or theatre lover. See below for the full list of Folio Poetry and Drama books.
The Bhagavad Gita is the cornerstone of the Hindu faith and one of the world’s greatest religious texts. Gandhi called it his ‘spiritual dictionary’, while as a secular work it inspired Einstein, Yeats and Jung. Our edition uses Juan Mascaró’s acclaimed translation, with illustrations by Anna Bhushan.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is the world’s earliest known work of narrative poetry, dating from around 2000 BC. This edition, translated by Andrew George, Professor of Babylonian at the University of London, is the most complete general edition available.
At the age of 86, Robert Frost read his poem ‘The Gift Outright’ at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. In turn, the new president paid tribute to Frost: ‘He has bequeathed his nation a body of imperishable verse from which Americans will forever gain joy and understanding’.
First published in 1862, ‘Goblin Market’ is an extended poem about two young sisters who hear goblin merchants hawking their wares. Lizzie urges caution (‘Their offers should not charm us,/Their evil gifts would harm us’) but Laura eats the forbidden fruit and falls into a frenzy, then a decline from which her sister must save her.
Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark is an exhilarating mock-epic journey on the high seas of nonsense. The Bellman sets off in search of the mysterious Snark, supported by the Broker, the Banker, the Barrister and other characters beginning with B.
This selected edition reveals the poet’s ingenuity and emotional range – from vivid joy to depression. Previously unpublished in book form, Elizabeth Magill’s paintings beautifully visualise Hopkins’s imagery. Introduced by Ruth Padel.
In 778, the rearguard of Charlemagne’s retreating army was ambushed in the Pyrenees and defeated. The battle of Roncevaux became the inspiration for songs and poems celebrating deeds of valour in the face of overwhelming odds. In the mid 12th century, part of this great retelling of heroic deeds was The Song of Roland.
Former bricklayer, soldier, brawler, and convict, Ben Jonson was also one of Elizabethan England’s leading literary lights. Now for the first time since 1952, his complete works are presented in this acclaimed scholarly edition.