First Prize Winner 2017 Tate Standage reviews The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson


Tate Standage, first prize winner of the Tower Poetry Competition 2017 with the poem ‘rosetta’ and Tower Poetry Summer School student 2018 review a new translation of The Odyssey by Emily Wilson on Young Poets Network.

“Wilson’s conceptualisation of translation is more like feeling a sculpture in the dark, and then weaving a tapestry of what you thought was there”


Tate’s skillful review explores the complexity of translation and its relationship to cultural context, contrasting previous translations of The Odyssey with Wilson’s more “accessible” translation. Wilson’s is the first known complete translation of The Odyssey to English by a woman, and it offers a remarkably different view of the original text. It “eschews the idea that Homer should be in ‘epic’ language” Tate argues, not only by adapting the Greek dactylic hexameter to English iambic pentameter, but by its effortless readability. Wilson’s choice of using modern “speakable and readeble” English makes it seem at times “closer to the Greek, but further from the translations that an Anglophone audience is used to” they add.

Read Tate’s excellent review of Wilson’s translation on the Young Poets Network website by clicking on the link below.

Tate is currently studying Classics at Durham University and they were a Foyle Young Poet in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

A Tangled Web: Tate Standage reviews The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson