Chapter: English Literature During The Middle Ages
Yep, it's "Beowulf." Finally, the English language starts to get relatively entertaining. Sure, it doesn't always make sense, but it's Beowulf, dammit! It doesn't have to make sense. Of course, just because I like it doesn't mean I won't still make fun of it.
I've read only two translations of "Beowulf" in my time: I've had a couple of goes at Seamus Heaney's rather mainstream rendition, and I've also taken a look at the translation linked below (clearly the best translation available that lies within the public domain). All the times of I've read it, I can't say I've ever loved it. Like I said, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense sometimes, and characters have a tendency to drone on for several pages. Those quibbles aside, it's still a classic and enjoyable tale if you can ignore the chapter-length speeches.
It also has a tendency to really stick with people. My friend Spencer once named it his favorite piece of literature ever, and I believe he's actually read every English translation ever made written. Spencer is, of course, quite mad.