The Celts have always loved words. They called their earliest bards 'Carpenters of Song' and ' People of Skill', and established a tradition which began with the intricate magical poems of Taliesin in the 6th century AD, continued in the rich Medieval works of Dafydd ap Gwilym and Rhys Goch, and in the 19th century work by Gerald Manley Hopkins, and can be found in the of 20th century work of writers such as R.J. Stewart, Robin Williamson and Catherine Fisher as well as a legion of other Celtic song-smiths, who have carried the torch of verse-craft and vision into our own time.
John Matthews has chosen the finest works by these writers, and has translated many of the oldest for this volume. His selection reflects aspects of the Celtic tradition which are unique to these people: a love of nature, of history, and of the rich heritage of myth, legend, magic and spirituality which is among the finest in the world.
_We are the music-makers
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems