Aeneas in tears

The Cumaean Sibyl, by Elihu Vedder, 1876 The Aeneid: A New Translation Shadi Bartsch, Profile Books Ltd., 2020, 400 pages [Book VI only for this review] Aeneid Book VI Seamus Heaney, Faber and Faber, 2016, 53 pages LESLEY SAUNDERS compares two notable translations of The Aeneid’s pivotal Book VI It feels peculiarly apt, and particularly…

Rewriting the Middle Ages

LIAM GUILAR likes a radical reimagining of a venerable Welsh work Isolated in Aber Cuawg Harry Gilonis, Oystercatcher Press, 2020, 19 pages ‘Claf Abercuawg’ is a Welsh poem composed perhaps in the ninth century. Claf, as a noun, means a sick person, a patient or a leper . Abercuawg is an area of north…

Four poems by Caroline Davies

CAROLINE DAVIES has an MA in Writing Poetry from the Poetry School and Newcastle University. Her books are Elements of Water (Green Bottle Press 2019), Convoy(2013) Voices from Stone and Bronze(2016) (Cinnamon Press).  She co-hosts the Ouse Muse poetry readings (Bedford) currently taking place online.  These poems are from her latest project, Strange Alchemy, poems…

Beacons – Brands – The Loki Stone

DANIEL GUSTAFSSON has published volumes of poetry in both English and Swedish, most recently Fordings (Marble Poetry, 2020). Much inspired by the beauty and history of both his native and adoptive shores, exploring themes of cultural and spiritual regeneration derived from Blake and Scruton, among others, Daniel's increasingly formal work also shows an interest in alliterative verse.…

Four poems by Janet Kenny

JANET KENNY is very old. She has been an opera and concert singer, anti-war activist, editor, publisher's researcher and food writer. Born in New Zealand, sang in the United Kingdom, agitated in Sydney and now watches birds in Queensland. Her poems have been widely published. She co-edited, compiled and wrote Beyond Chernobyl published by Envirobook;…

Richard Whiting – Comedy – The god of modern life

ANDREW THORNTON-NORRIS is the author of The Spiritual History of English, described by The Times as "an enjoyable, erudite and cohesive journey through the history and philosophy of English literature in 150 pithily written pages." He is also an accomplished poet, described by the University Bookman as "refreshingly direct, in contrast to contemporary poets whose poems are like hearing half…

Seasonal Interlude for an Arthurian epic: from Autumn

RAHUL GUPTA holds a PhD from the University of York for a thesis on Old English and Norse poetry and the 19th-20th century mediævalist alliterative revival. His poems, prose, and translations have been published in Agenda, Acumen, Eborakon, Equinox, Molly Bloom, Spectral Realms, and Wiðowinde, among other journals, and online by British Intelligence, and The…

Stuff and nonsense

The Culture of My Stuff Adam Crothers, Carcanet, 2020, 84 pps, £10.99 DEREK TURNER finds a celebrated poet’s latest collection dazzling but lightweight This slender assemblage comes weighted with prestige – Adam Crothers’ prize-winning history (Shine/Strong and Seamus Heaney Centre in 2017), and endorsements of his latest offering by equally well-regarded contemporaries. But any potential…

The once and un-killable king

King Arthur: The Making of a Legend Nicholas J. Higham, Yale University Press, 2018, 380 pages LIAM GUILAR marvels to see a sledgehammer being wielded against castles-in-the-air People in Britain have been telling stories about an ‘Arthur’ since at least the 9th century, possibly earlier. In the Middle Ages, those stories include some of the…