Each poem in Glossing the Spoils works like an intricate time-travel machine, carrying the reader back to the beginnings of Western European literature. Like an ancient clapper bridge with its unmortared slabs of flat sandstone, these poems step us across the choppy currents of the past 1500 years. Anchored at one end in the deep past and at the other in the turbulent present, they explore interconnections between historical, personal, psychological, and mythic states. Plundering their opening passages from such early texts as Beowulf, The Mabinogion, and The Tain, these glosas address eternal themes of love and war and give voice to the surreal potency of the Western European imagination.
Glossing the Spoils
POETRY / MYTHOLOGY
‘Charlotte Hussey's poetry, like anything finely made, shines from the inside; crafted with erudition, intuition and passionate precision.’
‘I would highly recommend Glossing the Spoils … as exemplary in re-envisioning the oldest myths of Western European tradition with formal mastery.’
‘Her poems are vivid, both visually and aurally. She is a writer who displays range and finesse.’
Barbara Carey, Books in Canada
'The author is not only a gifted poet, but also well versed in Celtic mythology. She writes from a spiritual perspective that brings these ancient stories alive and relevant to our world today.'
'More often than not the connections are surprising and seem the result of profound mediation on the poet’s part … Then there is the great phrasing, rhythmic cells of language, rather than lines and sentences, being the matrix. This makes for terse turns of phrase that delight the ear, as they communicate their imagistic and semantic content. The resulting poems are rich in vivid, sensual, at times brutal imagery … The richness of the sound combined with dazzling imagery creates an opulent and entrancing effect, as the poet looks for a way into the glossed texts … The poems are drenched with lore, including the figures of Merlin, Arthur, Perceval, Beowulf, Branwen, Daughter of Llyr, and Brigit … The wealth of material elaborated in Glossing the Spoils and the resulting mythopoetic adventure leave this reader wanting to explore the stories of his own cultural past, if only he could find out what they are.'