This is a history book as well as a book of poetry.
Firstly, there are 60 pages of introduction. I advise you to read this introduction as it sets the scene for both the history and the poetry. There are 6 pages of notes for the introduction.
The book is in English and has been translated from Welsh by two of Wales’s foremost Gwyneth Lewis and Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. The original book dates from the 13th Century and is an anthology of 700 years of anonymous poetry about battles, more battles, heroes, mystery, and Christian faith.
Taliesin is an important name in Welsh Literature who is partly real, partly myth, and partly a folkloric memory. He might well have been a sixth-century poet, a magician, a seer, and a chronicler of early Welsh history from the time just after the Romans left Britain when the Saxons were pushing westwards from their east coast strongholds.
These poems are fascinating and sparkle with imagery. They also show how people enjoyed themselves when they could and fought battles when they had to. Both were part of life, a life that was brutal and short for most people in those days.