Worm's Folly, A - Poems in Cornish Paperback – 8 Aug 2011
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Ha gans onan hag oll,/ ha gans oll hag onan/ yth yw onan rag oll,/ oll ragon ni'gan honan. - 'Both one and all/ and all and one,/ it's one for all, all for we, ourself.' It's easy to forget how recently Mick Paynter came into Cornish. Twenty years ago, he was taking an interest. Today, his poems and songs seem to have been with us further back than memory itself. We've heard him from Land's End to the Tamar and beyond, the St. Ives accent flowing over the words like a clear stream over pebbles. Sometimes the voice gives us gravelly blues, and sometimes its the strictest bardic prosody. He gives us life in St. Ives, Cornwall, the Celtic world, and beyond, from that easy Penwith perspective. Skogynn Pryv, Worm's Fool, is his bardic name and an echo of the days of the Trade. Yes, he knows his legends, whether local, national, or international. He gives us heroes from his family, his country, and from many lands. He also adapts from other tongues, including Yiddish. Skogynn Pryv writes in the relaxed colloquial Cornish of everyday life. Even if you have no Cornish the English versions will bring you right alongside the original. As well as the poems, you get a concise account of Mick Paynter by himself, and a generous appreciation by pioneering Welsh poet Mererid Hopwood. Here is a poet with the entertainment value of Pol Hodge and the intelligence of Tony Snell: we've needed him for a long time.