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The epic of Gilgamesh is the first great book of man's heart. Inscribed onto clay tablets around 2400 BC, it enthralled the ancient world with a story of love, heroism, friendship, grief, and defiance of the Gods. That it continues to speak to us today, despite its fragmentary state, is testimony to the power and humanity of its themes: King Gilgamesh's lament for his dead friend Enkidu is still among the most moving poems of mourning in literature.
Inspired by the universality of the Gilgamesh story, the poet Derrek Hines has produced a magnificent reworking of the epic, which brings it into a modern idiom whilst maintaining its timeless quality. His striking imagery breathes a new sensuality and vigor into the characters; his poised and energetic language moves seamlessly between the lyric and the bellicose, the comic and the tragic, the classical and the contemporary. Like Christopher Logue's War Music or Seamus Heaney's Beowulf, this is a work that will communicate to today's reader the sheer excitement and wonder that those who first encountered Gilgamesh must have felt four thousand years ago.
“A superb achievement. The cinematic swoops, that terrific, loss-haunted elegy, absolutely packed with reverberating phrases. . . . It is not only a rendering of the poem but a brilliant, vital contemporary commentary on it.” —Abraxis
“An evocative journey through the Mesopotamian story, glittering with Hines's own fresh images.” —Financial Times