Full E-book Piers Plowman: A Modern Verse Translation Review
Langland's 14th-century poem Piers Plowman is a disturbing and often humorous commentary on corruption and greed that remains meaningful today. The allegorical and satirical work revolves around the narrator's quest to live a good life, and takes the form of a series of dreams in which Piers, the honest plowman, appears in various guises. Characters such as Conscience, Fidelity and Charity tumble out of the text alongside Falsehood and Guile, and are instantly recognizable as our present-day politicians and celebrities, friends and neighbors. Along the way social issues are confronted, including governance, economic relations, criminal justice, public finance, marital relations and the limits of academic learning, as well as religious belief and the natural world. This book is a new verse translation of Piers from Middle English which preserves the energy, imagery and intent of the original, and retains its alliterative style. It derives from a 2012 arts festival presentation performed in the priory where Langland - a contemporary of Chaucer - was probably educated.