Drawing on the oldest vernacular literature in western Europe, The Great Book of the Woods presents poem versions of the rune-like ‘ogham’ stone inscriptions, unique to Ireland and Scotland. In addition, there are also poetic translations made from medieval Irish texts, such as the 14th century Book of Ballymote, which critique and explain all the extant variants of ogham.
In vivid and lyrical language, and with surprising juxtapositions, these poems bring to life the communities, ecologies and traditions of Ireland and Scotland between the 4th and 6th centuries CE. In times of climate change, the vital ecological awareness of those communities is distilled and preserved in this important collection, which represents the culmination of over forty years of scholarship. A must-have for anyone with an interest in the Celtic history of these islands.
Gerry Loose is a poet whose work is found inscribed in galleries, hospitals, Botanic Gardens and wild places, as well as in his many books. He is the recipient of a Creative Scotland Award, a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, a Kone Foundation Award and a Hermann Kesten Stipendium, among others