Three tunes on the harp to stir your soul ~ to ease, to laughter, to tears of sorrow for lost Gods.
Bard Song is a collection of poetry, mostly in medieval Welsh and Irish metres, and reflections on the nature of the Bard in early Celtic society and the role of poetry within modern Druidry and polytheism generally.
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There are plenty of collections of poetry out there, and plenty of texts about poetry, but I’ve never before encountered a book that does both at the same time. It’s one of those things that, on seeing it done, it seems so painfully obvious that the question, why wasn’t this in the world before? Springs to mind. Especially in the arena of pagan poetry, where issues of bard craft, use in ritual, historical poetry and poetic forms are all serious considerations and under discussed by modern pagans. I’ll admit it’s the writing about poetry that really did it for me. This is probably a consequence of spending years as a student of literature, wading through miserable pieces of literary criticism. When Robin Herne writes about poetry, his words are playful and engaging, entertaining and erudite all at once. He’s insightful and there’s a lot to learn, but it’s offered lightly and with humour, making the work exceedingly readable and accessible. Poetry is one of those subjects that suffers because everyone thinks it’s easy and doable. Throw in a few rhymes and away you go. It’s also used as a substitute for counselling and/or a love life. The result of this is often painful, if not embarrassing to listen to. Good poetry takes as much skill and dedication as any other art form. The more thought, understanding, skill and effort goes in, the better the results are likely to be. You wouldn’t expect to make a pot without knowing how to use a wheel or a kiln. Poetry is no different. That doesn’t mean a necessity for rhymes, fixed structures or obscure literary references, but it does mean knowing your craft. There are some good tools and examples here for anyone inclined to learn. Robin has included a lot of details about what the mediaeval Celtic poem forms are, which is fascinating stuff if you’ve a mind for it, and I’ve not encountered anywhere else offering this information so succinctly. For anyone exploring the bardic path, this is a must have book. Anyone else interested in things Celtic, or looking for material to use in ritual, you should seriously consider picking up a copy. ~ Nimue Brown, The Druid Network
This little book is a joy to savour and digest, Robin succeeds in explaining the complicated nature of Poetic metering with ease and delicious humour which displays his passion and intrigue of the subject. This gem expresses Robin's love of the poetic and his deep connection to tradition and the Gods. I recommend you curl up under the duvet with a box of chocolates and devour this lovely little book. ~ Kristoffer Hughes, Head of Anglesey Druid Order, author of \"Natural Druidry\"
I enjoyed this work on, and of, poetry by Robin Herne â€“ more than just enjoyment, however, I learned a good deal, about poetry and history; this work combines both information about the history of poetry and meter and original work by the author. The historical elements are well researched and presented; the authorâ€™s style is a conversational one, which draws the reader into a dialogue about the material; the only criticism I might have (and it is a small one) is the lack of in-text citations; however, there is a good list of further reading attached to the volume. The poetry is arranged seasonally, which makes sense, considering the subject matter covered. As always with poetry, some seems to work better than others; none of it is bad and some is very good indeed; the authorâ€™s connection to ritual is clear, and through much of the poetry one can sense the rhythms of the seasons and ceremonies. This book would be well worth attaining for those interested in poetry, those looking for material for ritual and perhaps most importantly, those looking to create their own rhythms for ritual. ~ Diotima Sophia, Diotima has written widely on a number of subjects, including essays, fiction and poetry. Her two latest books have been published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina: Dancing God â€“ a collection of poet