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Idylls of the Nymphai from a Mantic Coracle

The Mantic Coracle: Navigating the Waters of Harry Matthews’ Latest Collection

In the current issue of our esteemed poetry magazine, we delve into the mystical and surreal world of Harry Matthews’ eighth poetry collection, “Idylls of the Nymphai from a Mantic Coracle.” This anthology is an esoteric voyage, a foray into the depths of divination and the sacred, blending Greek mantic lore with the Shinto tradition of Futomani. It is as if Matthews has embarked on a journey akin to Hunter S. Thompson’s psychedelic escapades, yet steeped in the profound spiritual traditions of Yeats and Thomas Merton.

The Coracle as a Spiritual Vessel

The collection begins with the symbol of the coracle, a humble Welsh fisherman’s craft, transformed under Matthews’ pen into a spiritual vessel. This transformation echoes Yeats’ gyres, spinning tales of faith and vulnerability. The poet navigates the tumultuous waters of life without rudders or oars, surrendering to divine currents, much like the Celtic saints’ pursuit of grace and deliverance. Each stroke of the paddle resonates with the journey’s tumultuous nature, a radical commitment to faith.

The Poetic Voice: A Call for Surrender

Matthews’ voice, infused with radical energy and visionary zeal, calls out to the reader to relinquish control and trust in a divine plan. The poet’s craft becomes a metaphor for his own life – a vessel steered by the winds of inspiration and divine will, whether through storms or calm seas.

Echoes of Theocritus and the Rustic Pastoral

Throughout the collection, the essence of Theocritus’ idylls breathes life into Matthews’ work, capturing the rustic and the pastoral. Each poem serves as a divination, a step closer to the ineffable. The collection is a tribute to the spirits of the natural world, acknowledging their presence and power.

A Journey of Transcendence and Awakening

Matthews beckons readers to join him on a journey towards spiritual enlightenment, reminiscent of the path tread by the Celtic monks. The coracle becomes more than a boat; it symbolizes a journey towards a resurrection of the spirit. Matthews’ work is not just a collection of poems but a spiritual odyssey, resonating with ancient traditions and eternal truths.

Review: “Idylls of the Nymphai from a Mantic Coracle”

Opening “Idylls of the Nymphai from a Mantic Coracle” is akin to stepping into a sacred grove where each poem is an act of worship, a ritual in itself. In poems like “Alseid” and “Auloniad,” Matthews masterfully crafts a colourful tapestry of ephemeral natural beauty, capturing the essence of water dragons and torrential consciousness in a vivid, almost hallucinogenic language.

Matthews’ poetry in this collection is mysterious and allusive, imbued with layers of meaning that invite readers to explore the complexities of his work. His unique voice and innovative use of language make this collection not just a reading experience but an immersive journey into the poet’s richly imagined world.

Harry Matthews stands out as an engaging eccentric and wit in contemporary poetry, a subtle scholar who fearlessly delves into the surreal. “Idylls of the Nymphai from a Mantic Coracle” is an extraordinary work, offering readers a profound exploration of reality as rich and complex as the poet’s own vivid imagination. It is a collection that is not only astonishingly beautiful but also brilliantly rendered, marking Matthews as a significant voice in modern poetry.

Idylls of the Nymphai

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harry Matthews; First Printing ed. edition (1 Nov. 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 136 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1800681623
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1800681620
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.85 x 0.74 x 19.84 cm
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