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Pryderi's Pigs and other poems by G. R.…

Pryderi's Pigs and other poems (2006)

by G. R. Grove

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104880,191 (4.3)1 / 8
Showing 4 of 4
Pryderi's Pigs is Grove's second volume of poetry, and anyone who has read King Arthur's Raid on Hell will instantly recognize the world conjured in the poems.

The same caveat holds, as well: Grove's poems were spun to be read out loud, preferably in front of a roaring fire, stein of mulled wine in hand. Reading the poems - even from a laptop screen - draws you into the realms Grove writes about, but listening to them would more fully realize that realm.

Grove's poems are lyrical, evocative and sharply rhythmic - once a poem is finished, beginning the next is tempting. Which is another reason the poems should be read out loud - to make them last longer. ( )
  kateschimmer | Mar 25, 2011 |
I received this book from the member giveaway in exchange for a review.

I enjoyed reading this collection of poems. The intermixing of poems about the SCA and medieval Welsh society worked pretty well. I personally liked the strictly Welsh ones better, since I've read the Young Gwernin Trilogy and I have some understanding of the culture. Some of the animal poems were good; the cat wishing to catch birds was a favourite.

The poems definitely evoked a strong medieval sense, and the feeling of being a part of a warband. If you are interested in medieval poetic forms and content than this collection would be a good read. ( )
  kkunker | Jan 17, 2011 |
In her introduction to "Pryderi’s Pigs and other poems," author G.R. Grove describes this recent collection of poems, her second, as being written in medieval fixed forms in an attempt to reproduce the “sound and feel of medieval Welsh poetry in modern English.” I know nothing of medieval fixed forms but can attest that many of the poems read well out loud. Here in the Philippines where English is taught as a second language and is the “language of instruction” in many classrooms, one common teaching strategy is the somewhat redundantly named “voice choir,” where poetry is dramatized and read by a group of divergent “light” and “dark’ voices. Many of these poems would be excellent voice choir selections. Guernen’s Boast, the first poem in the collection, will serve as an example:

“At the back of the North
I had my beginning
Near the Head of the
I got my birth
Taliesin was my teacher
First Bard of the Cymry”

Finding suitable poems that can be as easily divided into voices as these can is not as easy as one might expect. There are at least twenty poems in the collection that are suitable for voice choir.

As to the content and form of the poems, there is an interesting mix: both narrative and lyrical poems, riddles, even a handful of limericks. Most of the poems center on an imaginative interpretation of life in Wales during a period described by the author as “the SCA period (approximately 600-1600 AD).” SCA being the Society for Creative Anachronisms.

If you like to read poetry out loud or listen to it read, you will enjoy [Pryderi’s Pigs and other poems], and if you like to imagine yourself back in time to an earlier age of magic and knights in armor, this is just the thing for you.
2 vote RonWelton | Dec 11, 2010 |
Disclosure: I received this book as part of the LibraryThing Member Giveaway program. Some people think this may bias a reviewer so I am making sure to put this information up front. I don't think it biases my reviews, but I'll let others be the judge of that.

I have never sat before the fire in a Welsh Chieftain's Great Hall and listened to a bard sing songs about heroes, spin tales of happiness and woe, and pose riddles in verse. Thanks to Guernen Sang Again I don't have to imagine what the experience would be like.

Poetry is difficult to do well. It is especially difficult to do well when attempting to recount particular stories of myth and legend, but many of the poems included in this book do just that, and do them well. Grove deals with many traditional stories drawn (mostly) from Welsh myth: Gwydion's war for Pryderi's pigs, Pwll's sojourn in Annuvin, Blodeuwedd's betrayal of Lleu, and of course, a couple of poems about Arthur. She also draws from a couple other myth traditions for inspiration, most notably Greek myth for a poem centered on Achilles. All of these are good, and some are quite good.

Where this collection shines for me are the humorous poems. There are numerous funny poems about animals, including several about the dog Bruno. Host Raider was particularly fun to read. Dogs are not the only animal subjects featured - chickens and cats also have verses devoted to them: Birdsong at Dawn is a funny tale of a cat's frustrations.

Finally, the poems touch upon loss, and aging. The Choice, for example, telling the choice the narrator made to live a human life, but not knowing if he could make the same choice again as he nears death. As with much poetry inspired by the Celtic tradition, many other poems are tinged with loss and sorrow.

This collection is not without some flaws, but they are mostly minor. The only thing that is truly missing from this book is that it doesn't come packaged with a drummer, harper, piper, and bard to sing the verses. I can forgive that oversight (the packaging would probably be quite costly), and I will have to settle for simply imagining them. ( )
5 vote StormRaven | May 13, 2009 |
Showing 4 of 4

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G. R. Grove chatted with LibraryThing members from Oct 8, 2012 to Oct 26, 2012. Read the chat.

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