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Complete Poems and Translations

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  378 ratings  ·  29 reviews
This unique anthology offers a more comprehensive look at the poems of Christopher Marlowe, England's first great poet and playwright. ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 25th 2007 by Penguin Classics (first published 1598)
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I know it is popular in some circles to say that Marlowe wrote all of Shakespeare. Sorry Kit, your Passionate Sheperd is a beautiful poem, but it is the only reason why this is three stories.

Your other poetry proves that you so did not write Shakespeare. Shakespeare did.
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jan by: Andre Levi
Shelves: poetry
The poetry gets five stars, but the edition only gets two. With modernized spelling but no notes or context, Marlowe's translations of Ovid's Elegies and of Lucan's First Book are especially difficult to understand. This slim, inexpensive book (Dover Thrift Editions) might be useful if you already know the poetry well and just want to reread it for the beauty of it. As an introduction to Marlowe's nondramatic poetry, though, you'd be better off with a more extensively annotated edition.

A lot of
Kathe Koja
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The rowdy, funny, playful translations of Ovid's poems of desire, the storming, ferocious renderings of Lucan's civil war, and his own wry, gorgeous, unforgettable "Hero and Leander"--both timeless and contemporary, Marlowe's voice is like no one else's. "Come live with me and be my love," he invites in "The Passionate Shepherd," and who can resist?

Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Overall I pretty mush liked Marlowe's poetry. Most of this book is half his own work and half either translations or by other writers of the time. ...more
Mar 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Christopher Marlowe definitely had a thing for bringing the best (meaning the naughtiest parts) of Ovid to the Elizabethan era, and it is easy to see why his poetry was so widely admired. Many of his admirers, however, didn't quite get what he was creating. Very evident in Chapman's continuation of Hero and Leander - broken up into Sestiads, no less - where made-up deities like Ceremony and Pity lean on abandoned Hero a lot of heavy lessons about matrimony. At least Petowe's portion carries on s ...more
Roman Clodia
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This contains all Marlowe's poems including his translations of Ovid's Amores, and his first book of Lucan's 'Civil War' (Bellum Civile). Especially wonderful is his Hero and Leander: based on Ovid's Heroides 18 and 19, Marlowe goes much further than Ovid and creates a marvellous epyllion (mini epic) that engages deeply with Renaissance issues of gender allocation and the erotic.

In some ways this is almost a poem about masculine coming of age as the boy Leander with his effeminised boyish beauty
Dave H
Apr 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Review for ALL OVID'S ELEGIES, translated by Marlowe.

(It's been some time that I read Hero and Leander and do not recall enough to comment. The Passionate Shepherd is, of course, one of the good ones.)

I came across Marlowe's translation of Elegy VI from book III, found it quite fun, not what one thinks of at all when one thinks of Love Poetry. (The title or introduction is Quod ab amica receptus cum ea coire non putuit, conqueritur, translating as He bewails the fact that, in bed with his mistre
This is a hard book to rate. On the one hand, I enjoy Marlowe's work. On the other, his translations of Ovid's elegies take up most of the book, and, since I'm not as well-versed in the classics as I could be, I could not understand much of the content without looking up supplemental information. The fault there, of course, would lie with me and not Marlowe. ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed these well-enough, but after a while they started to feel a little repetitive. I'm glad that I did finally read this, considering I bought it back in 2011. ...more
Steven Logan
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Dull, boring, and off putting.
J. Allen Nelson
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-classical
Enjoyable lyric works by someone other than Shakespeare!! Now on to the plays!!
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
The collection of Marlowe’s translations and poetry is deserving of its classic status, although more difficult to read and related to than his contemporary Shakespeare. That said, anyone willing to put aside comparisons to Shakespeare will be rewarded with classic English poetry in its own right. In my opinion, by far the two most interesting pieces in the collection are “Hero and Leander” and “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.” There are a number of absolutely beautiful passages:

From “Hero
Sep 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Christopher Marlowe was another candidate who was thought to be a candidate for the real Shakespeare. William Shakespeare and Marlowe were born in the same year in England, so they were both writing in the same period. Like Shakespeare, Marlowe was also a playwright and a poet, but was additionally a spy, and an unspoken atheist. He was unfortunately stabbed to death ten days after a warrant for his arrest was issued. No reason was given for the warrant of arrest, however it is speculated that i ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: university, own, 2017
Only read Hero and Leander
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In some ways, Marlowe is more of a mystery than Shakespeare. He rarely wrote what we would call lyric poetry (such as sonnets), but outside his plays he did only a few translations and poems based on mythological tales.

The two sestiads of Hero and Leander are the highpoints of this set. Marlowe beautifully unfolds the story of the two lovers. Much time and study could be done on this poem, and perhaps another time I will undertake that. Today, though, I was curious to re-read these works. (Chap
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, translations
Hero and Leander is the headline act in this collection of all of Christopher Marlowe's surviving non-dramatic verse, and its super-charged eroticism, both hetero (Hero/Leander) and homosexual (Neptune/Leander), easily makes it more memorable than the continuations of the poem by George Chapman and Henry Petowe, which are heavily sententious, and just plain dull, respectively. But it is Marlowe's renderings of Ovid's Amores that steal the show, a brilliant meeting of poetic minds that leaves one ...more
Daniel Swanger
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: collegiate readers
Recommended to Daniel by: self
Although more famed as a playwright, the best before Shakespeare who had "little Latin and less Greek," this book is mostly Marlowe's quaint antique style translations of Ovid's Elegies, most erotic, some venal, but none of merely prurient interest, with other Ovid elegies being in praise of his muses. Ovid's "Metamorphoses" is his most justly famous work. "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" echoed in my own A MAD ESCAPE, a Fantasy Ballad published in my writings A TREASURED KEEPSAKE OF ART, i ...more
Rachel Brand
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: en4341, poetry, 2012
Read "Hero and Leander" for EN4341: Renaissance Sexualities: Rhetoric and the Body 1580-1660.

My rating is based upon the poem "Hero and Leander", so perhaps it would be higher if I read some of the other poems in this collection. As it stands, I didn't find "Hero and Leander" terribly interesting, even after hearing a lecture on it and meeting with my study group. Often studying a text can give the reader a deeper appreciation of it, but that wasn't the case for this poem. I enjoyed Marlowe's "
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For convenience, can't be beat. As a Marlowe-nut who researches and writes about Marlowe frequently, it's got everything I need (other than the plays of course) in one slim and portable volume.

The downside is that the editor's modernization of the text is a little too aggressive in some places. For example, you would never get the impression from reading this that Marlowe's language had a distinctively Anglo-Saxon twang to it. I really wish that the editor had at least preserved some of the marv
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because I had studied Marlowe's famous poem, "The Passionate Shepherd to his Love" in college and thought the rest of his poems would be similar. Nope. Not even close. To put it delicately, this young poet was either very sexually active, or wished he was and therefore constantly wrote about it. Almost every single poem reads like a 15-year-old boy who is so overpowered by his hormones he can barely keep himself together. It was pretty disgusting. I read all the way through hopi ...more
Nov 13, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bought this because I was attending a reading by professional actors of some of Marlowe's poems, including Hero and Leander. Having professional actors read the poems is significantly more interesting that trying to read them yourself. I struggled through, largely just reading the words and really not absorbing what I was reading. Seemed like it took months; okay, it really did take months. I just don't like poetry, but for some reason I keep trying to come to terms with poetry by selecting and ...more
João Camilo
Mar 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-books
Marlowe is obviously good, and his influence undeniable. But reading his poems - you get the feeling he would struggle to really be one to eclipse Shakespeare. He may even been more intelectual, and his humor a little more british, but he just haven't all those momments of brillance. I suppose his dimisse was an act of literary genius.

Also, meh, It is hard to image him and Shakespeare being the same writer.
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Lengthy supplemental material by less enjoyable poets like George Chapman makes up a substantial portion of this edition. Marlowe is five stars, but in illuminating the poets who were inspired by his brief works, it makes a rather bloated read out of a perfect - if short - output.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Marlowe's plays are barely worthy of our time (I'm sorry, but he is a historical footnote with a few successes and a badass backstory), but his poetry is interesting and worthy of consideration. This edition is mediocre, however. The lack of good footnoting is infuriating. ...more
required reading for elizabethan peoples. a different set of competencies on display here, as compared with the tragedies.
vi macdonald
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dec 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Yeah, everyone
A delicious book with a fruity blend of wit and eloquence.
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have read only The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
rated it it was amazing
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Christopher "Kit" Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564) was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own mysterious and untimely death.

The author's Wikipedia page.

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“We which were Ovids five books, now are three,
For these before the rest preferreth he:
If reading five thou plainst of tediousnesse,
Two tane away, thy labor will be lesse:
With Muse upreard I meant to sing of armes,
Choosing a subject fit for feirse alarmes:
Both verses were alike till Love (men say)
Began to smile and tooke one foote away.
Rash boy, who gave thee power to change a line?
We are the Muses prophets, none of thine.
What if thy Mother take Dianas bowe,
Shall Dian fanne when love begins to glowe?
In wooddie groves ist meete that Ceres Raigne,
And quiver bearing Dian till the plaine:
Who'le set the faire treste sunne in battell ray,
While Mars doth take the Aonian harpe to play?
Great are thy kingdomes, over strong and large,
Ambitious Imp, why seekst thou further charge?
Are all things thine? the Muses Tempe thine?
Then scarse can Phoebus say, this harpe is mine.
When in this workes first verse I trod aloft,
Love slackt my Muse, and made my numbers soft.
I have no mistris, nor no favorit,
Being fittest matter for a wanton wit,
Thus I complaind, but Love unlockt his quiver,
Tooke out the shaft, ordaind my hart to shiver:
And bent his sinewy bow upon his knee,
Saying, Poet heers a worke beseeming thee.
Oh woe is me, he never shootes but hits,
I burne, love in my idle bosome sits.
Let my first verse be sixe, my last five feete,
Fare well sterne warre, for blunter Poets meete.
Elegian Muse, that warblest amorous laies,
Girt my shine browe with sea banke mirtle praise.

-- P. Ovidii Nasonis Amorum
Liber Primus
(Quemadmodum a Cupidine, pro bellis amores scribere coactus sit)”
“Love is a golden bubble full of dreams,
That waking breaks, and fills us with extremes.

---From “Hero and Leander, Sestiad III”
More quotes…