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Renowned Poet and Translator David Ferry Passes Away at 99

Renowned Poet and Translator David Ferry Passes Away at 99

Renowned Poet and Translator David Ferry Passes Away at 99

Renowned Poet and Translator David Ferry Passes Away at 99

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  • Noted poet and translator, David Ferry, died at 99 in Lexington, Mass.
  • Famous for his modern “Gilgamesh” rendition, Ferry authored ten books in 34 years.
  • His final work, “Some Things I Said,” reflects Ferry’s lasting influence on literature.
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David Ferry, a well-known poet and translator recognized for his emotionally charged writing, passed away at the age of 99 in Lexington, Massachusetts. Ferry, who taught at Wellesley College for nearly four decades, witnessed a spike in production after retirement, publishing ten books in 34 years. Notably, his translation of the ancient Babylonian epic “Gilgamesh” was hailed as the best modern rendition.

Ferry’s ability to translate Roman authors such as Horace and Virgil earned him acclaim in literary circles. Despite his initial obscurity, his original poetry rose to recognition with the publication of his National Book Award-winning book “Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations” in 2012. The poet’s distinct style was defined by his thematic emphasis on perplexity and connection with classical classics.

Ferry defined writing as a reciprocal discovery, directing both himself and the poem, in a career marked by ongoing change. His final work, “Some Things I Said,” which will be published in December, is a monument to his enduring literary legacy. Ferry’s son, Stephen, daughter Elizabeth, and two grandchildren survive him.

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