Based on the mythical tale from the Welsh Mabinogion, Richard Britton's rich gothic tale breathes new life into the neglected form of narrative poetry.
THE BOOK OF PHERYLLT
Keridwen laboured as if her womb was filled
With stones fired in the acidic larva
That gored its path to fathom valleys
Between the star-threatening peaks
Of Snowdonia, in sleepless prehistory,
As time cut its cord from its creator.
Tegid Voel, her lord, glanced once only
At the wretched bundle, the love
For which had stemmed her bitter blood,
And then left the room to take wine.
Whilst her lord was slumped under his
Antler-mounted fire-place, she stared
At the pink moon as it haemorrhaged
Love into the bruised-blossom night.
Her son, Avagddu, smiled at her