Carmella's Reviews > Wyf-King

Wyf-King by Annabel Mahoney
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it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry, read-and-enjoyed, special-favourites

I should start this review by saying that I'm really fussy with poetry. I find so much of it to be - how to put this? - subjectively bad even though I'm sure it's objectively alright. So whenever I come across a poem or even a whole collection that I actively enjoy, I get very excited. This is one such occasion!

I've been ardently awaiting this collection ever since I first heard about it. I love history and women and creative works that re-frame and interpret the lives of historical women, plus the concept of writing poetry in modern English alongside Middle English and Anglo-Saxon is just pretty neat. It would have been a shame if the execution didn't live up to the concept - but I'm delighted to say that it does... and then some!

The modern English poems are beautifully constructed and drip with meaning despite their sparse length (or maybe because of it?). I have to give a special mention to Margaret of Anjou, Anne of Bohemia, Berengaria of Navarre, Matilda of Boulogne, Matilda of Flanders, and Ealdgyth - a long list, I know, but each one hit me like a slap to the face. I read Matilda of Flanders five times back-to-back because I just couldn't get over it.

The Middle English and Anglo-Saxon parallel texts are a fun way of embedding the poems into their historical contexts, but they manage to contribute more than just being a gimmick. I particularly appreciate the linguistic glosses that are often used to highlight words with dual meanings, revealing an interesting textual depth.

Finally, the brief biographies accompanying each poem mean you don't need to worry about not 'getting' the collection due to not knowing enough about each subject (phew). That said, even without the biographies I think the poems would speak for themselves.

So, I'm pleased to say that this collection was well worth the wait. Now, time to go back and read Matilda of Flanders yet again...
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Reading Progress

June 30, 2018 – Shelved
June 30, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
June 15, 2019 – Started Reading
June 15, 2019 – Shelved as: poetry
June 15, 2019 – Shelved as: read-and-enjoyed
June 15, 2019 – Shelved as: special-favourites
June 15, 2019 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Annabel (new) - added it

Annabel Mahoney Carmella!!! Thank you for stopping by and saying such lovely things!! <3 I'm glad it was worth the wait!!

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