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The Book of Taliesin. Poems of Warfare and Praise in an Enchanted Britain

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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The great work of Welsh literature, translated in full for the first time in over 100 years by two of its country's foremost poets.

Tennyson portrayed him, and wrote at least one poem under his name. Robert Graves was fascinated by what he saw as his work's connection to a lost world of deeply buried folkloric memory. He is a shapeshifter; a seer; a chronicler of battles fo
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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published June 27th 2019 by Penguin Classics
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Julian Worker
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a history book as well as a book of poetry.

Firstly, there are 60 pages of introduction. I advise you to read this introduction as it sets the scene for both the history and the poetry. There are 6 pages of notes for the introduction.

The book is in English and has been translated from Welsh by two of Wales's foremost Gwyneth Lewis and Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. The original book dates from the 13th Century and is an anthology of 700 years of anonymous poetry abou
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Sarah
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This book has a fantastic introduction to Taliesin - the man and the voice. Definitely worth reading to make sense of the poems themselves.

Notation of the poems is excellent. Enough to explain meaning where it could be difficult or where it relies on knowledge of myth and religion but not so heavy as to spoil the reading of the poems.

I would have given this book 5 stars if only the original poems were - as far as could be discerned - given as parallel text. I would love to experience the sounds
...more
Raido D
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a wonderful entry-level collection of Brythonic poetry which reiterates the fact that the "dark ages" in post-Roman Britain were, in fact, overflowing with inventive poetry steeped in myth and enchantment. The introduction is compelling and relays plenty of background information about the diction, structure, and rhyming schemes of early Welsh panegyric poetry.

The book was an absolute pleasure to read, and I trust that the translations are accurate - emphasis on 'trust'. If there w
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GRANT
There is some good translation here as the awen still comes through in English. "Awen" is a word that is untranslatable from Welsh meaning something along the lines of "muse, inspiration, prophecy, magic" which pretty much sums up this compilation of mystical poetry with hints of history.

It is of some historical humor that for over a thousand years the Welsh listened to bards in their own language unknown to their politically-dominate, Saxon neighbors about how one day a son of destiny would ari
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Serena
Aug 31, 2020 marked it as to-read
Listened to some of this book on BBC's The power of poetry and want to read it soon. ...more
Gerard C. Klug
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book of poetry

I am researching for a novel and find books like this sit in my mind and stir the pot. So tasty.
Carl
I found this book really fascinating. "The Song of the Trees" and other poems really stuck in my mind. It also showed the fascinating literary tradition of Wales. Some of the poems were rather obtuse and culturally specific, but I am still glad I read them. I think this book is one of those I'll take off my shelf every now and then for sure. ...more
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Rowan Douglas Williams, Baron Williams of Oystermouth, is an Anglican bishop, poet, and theologian. He was Archbishop of Canterbury from December 2002-2012, and is now Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge and Chancellor of the University of South Wales.

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