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The Gododdin : Lament for the Fallen

Clarke, Gillian
Format: Hardback
Publisher: FABER & FABER
Published: May 6, 2021
ISBN: 9780571352111
200 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom

£14.99

The timeless and compelling ‘word-music’ of one of Britain’s oldest cultural treasures is captured in this new bilingual edition. The Gododdin charts the rise and fall of 363 warriors in the battle of Catraeth, around the year AD 600. The men of the Brittonic kingdom of Gododdin rose to unite the Welsh and the Picts against the Angles, only to meet a devastating fate.

Composed by the poet Aneirin, the poem was originally orally transmitted as a sung elegy, passed down for seven centuries before being written down in early Welsh by two medieval scribes. It is composed of one hundred laments to the named characters who fell, and follows a sophisticated alliterative poetics. Former National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke animates this historical epic with a modern musicality, making it live in the language of today and underscoring that, in a world still beset by the misery of war, Aneirin’s lamentation is not done.

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