Thursday, July 19, 2007

Guernen Sang It

In Tuesday's post I mentioned that the riddle I was printing was from my poetry collection called Guernen Sang Again: Pryderi's Pigs and Other Poems. This is the second of the two poetry books I have available on; the first is titled Guernen Sang It: King Arthur's Raid on Hell and Other Poems. So what's the logic behind these titles? What is this "Guernen Sang It" business?

The idea comes from the early Welsh poem (or collection of poems) called Y Gododdin. This poem is attributed to someone called Aneirin, who is supposed to have been famous as a bard or poet in 6th century Britain. The only surviving copy of his work is a manuscript called Llyfr Aneinin - the book of Aneirin - which currently resides in the National Library of Wales at Aberystwth. And at the beginning of the manuscript someone has written, "Hon yw y Gododdin - Aneirin ei cant" - "This is the Gododdin - Aneirin sang it." So when I collected my poems for publication - poems mostly written in and for the SCA - I followed my medieval exemplar in the title.

And the "Guernen" part? Not hard - my official name in the SCA is Guernen Cimarguid. But that is a story for another day.

(Answer to Tuesday's riddle - "poetry")

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