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King Arthur's Raid on Hell and other poems…

King Arthur's Raid on Hell and other poems (2006)

by G. R. Grove

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741,138,814 (4.5)1 / 5
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In the introduction to King Arthur's Raid, Grove explains that these poems were written to be sung, out loud, in the manner of bardic poetry from the Middle Ages. Specifically, many of them are attempts to recreate the sound of Medieval Welsh poetry.

Not having any prior experience with Medieval Welsh poetry - or really, Middle Age era bardic traditions - I couldn't say how accurately Grove accomplishes that goal. My ignorance aside, Raid on Hell is a good choice to curl up with under a favourite blanket, and let yourself get lost in.

Many of the poems are interwoven, as characters and allusions repeat or stories are told from multiple sides. The title poem is an epic, reminiscent of Beowulf (my reference point for poems-as-oral-history) and was satisfying in a way I rarely find in poetry.

I think I would have enjoyed this collection even more if I could have listened to it in audio book form. The rhythms of the poems are apparent even from silent reading in front of the computer screen, and if Grove ever releases an audio book version, I would purchase it in an instant. ( )
3 vote kateschimmer | Mar 17, 2011 |
I adore this book! As I was reading, I felt as if I was transported to some ancient hall with a roaring fire and a talented bard spinning tales for me, instead of in front of my computer. ( )
2 vote amanda4242 | Mar 12, 2011 |
King Arthur's Raid on Hell and Other Poems
G. R. Grove
Smashwords (2010),
Mobi format for Kindle,
Print Length: 96 pages
Rated 5 stars of 5 possible

King Arthur's Raid on Hell and Other Poems is a small collection of the author's poetry mostly written in medieval fixed forms, or approximations of medieval forms. Some are in Welsh, some in English, all are beautifully rhythmic. Unlike most works that contain words or phrases in languages I do not comprehend, I did not find my lack of understanding the Welsh language to be a hindrance in reading these poems, because the wonderful, lyric quality came through, despite the language barrier. Also, since most of the poetry is in English there were only a few pages that I was unable to fully comprehend, but, again, the lyrical quality more than made up for the lack of comprehension.

It is not often I can read through an entire book of poetry in just two days, as I did with this book... I appreciated the brevity of most of the poems, and even though some poems were longer, they, too, were refreshingly different than my usual reading material. Kudos to the talented author of these wonderful poems. I recommend this book to those who love poetry and those who are interested in the medieval era. This book was received free from the author in exchange for this review. This review has been simultaneously posted at Dragon Views, LibraryThing, Smashwords and Amazon.com ( )
2 vote 1dragones | Jan 21, 2011 |
Guernen Sang It: King Arthur’s Raid on Hell and other poems.

This is a delightful volume of songs. I am not well informed about poetry in general, and medieval Welsh poetry in particular, and I found these pieces quite accessible. Here are several poetic forms I don’t recognize, but the structure is apparent in the presence of regular rhymes and a familiar rhythm. It would be a great pleasure to hear these pieces sung. My favourite poem from this collection, based on how it sounds and how it feels to read aloud, is “When Comes Winter.” There are a lot of kinesthetic images in this poem. A sample: “hearth-fire homely heat is throwing/ blazing brightly burning high” The imagery is dense through the whole poem, and it sounds pleasant to say it out loud.
“King Arthur’s Raid on Hell” tells an adventure story. I don’t usually like to read that style of poem, but this one I finished. The poem pulled me in with its rhythm, and once I started reading, it was easier to keep reading than to tear myself away. It is not necessary to be a scholar in order to understand the stories contained in these songs, but I found myself tempted to look up some of the names out of curiosity about what that would add to the story. The inexperienced reader will find much to enjoy in this collection. ( )
2 vote jaelquinn | Apr 1, 2009 |
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