The Travels of Sir John Mandeville was one of the most popular books of the later Middle Ages. Purporting to describe the circumnavigation of an English knight through Africa, India, and the Middle East in 1322, the narrative is a fantastical collection of sights: seas, islands, phoenixes, pyramids, rocks that enchant ships and apes that contain human souls, interwoven with geographical descriptions that are perfectly accurate. Matthew Franciss new collection is a sequence of poems that celebrate and give voice to Mandeville, in his own words, caught as he is between physical and symbolic geographies, between a world that is round and one that has Jerusalem at its centre. And all of it narrated in the terse, solitary, conflicted and strangely passionate voice of this medieval Crusoe whose very existence was disputed.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
apes apples balm Barnacles beneath bird body bread burning bushes castle Cathay Circumnavigation climb cloak cloves colour Constantinople Contain Human Souls cross crystal dark dead desert diamonds dragon earth eyes feathers fingers fire fish flame foot fruit gold gone Gravelly Sea green grey grow head hill Holy Holy Land horse India inside islands Jerusalem Khan knife land leading our mounts leave lives Mandeville's Farewell Matthew Francis Michaelmas Michaelmas Day milk monk Mount Sinai mountains mouth nails nests night Paradise pass pepper pilgrim plough poems Poetry Wales prayers Prester John priest rain ride river Rocks that Enchant sail sand scree scruffy path Sea Ocean seen silver Sir John Mandeville sleep smell smoke snakes soft spit St Catherine stones storms swallowed swords trees trumpets Vale Perilous valley voice watched it speckle West Sea wine wings wooden world is round