Squires, Geoffrey

Geoffrey Squires - My News for You - Irish Poetry 600-1200


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Geoffrey Squires - My News for You - Irish Poetry 600-1200

Published October 2015. Paperback, 240pp, 9 x 6ins, £12.95 / $22  
ISBN 9781848614338 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
The poems translated here were, with one or two possible exceptions, written between the 7th and 12th centuries AD, making them the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe. Latin, which arrived with Christianity in the 5th century and brought a script, was the only other language in play, although there are occasional loanwords from Norse and other tongues.
     Scholars can roughly assign the poems to centuries, on the basis of changes in syntax and word forms, but many that were written earlier exist only in later manuscripts. Dating is thus hazardous, and nor do we usually know the author. It is likely that one was written by a druid, six by women and rather more by professional bards; the remainder are probably by clerics or scribes.

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