Tag Archives: epigrams

National Poetry Month and Robert Hayman’s Quodlibets

The League of Canadian Poets have celebrated April as National Poetry Month for 15 years now. That doesn’t sound like a very long time, considering Robert Hayman was writing poetry in Newfoundland in the early 1600s.

So, in the spirit of celebrating poetry, Problematic Press would like to take you back nearly 400 years in sharing these few epigrams from David Reynolds’ adaptation of Robert Hayman’s Quodlibets, Lately come Over from New Britaniola, Old Newfoundland.

1. To the Reader of my reprehending general Epigrams.

I Do not, nor I dare not squib the State:
Such outrecuidant sauciness I hate:
Nor do I mean any one Man herein;
In private terms, I lash a public sin;
If any guilty think I him do mean,
He judgeth right: for I at him do aim.

47. To a handsome Whore.

One told me, what a pretty face thou hast;
And it’s great pity that thou art not chaste.
But I did tell him, that did tell it me,
That if thou were not Fair, thou chaste wouldst be.

49. Of the Gunpowder Holiday, the 5. of November.

The Powder-Traitors, Guy Fawkes, and his mates,
Who by a Hellish plot sought Saints estates,
Have in our Calendar unto their shame,
A joyful Holy-day called by their Name.

Hayman’s Quodlibets contains over 300 more wonderful witticisms. Print and digital editions are available through Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.

David Reynolds also dabbles in poetry. You can find out more about his work on his blog, Reynolds’ Thoughts and Fictions.

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BOOK LAUNCH – Robert Hayman’s Quodlibets

Problematic Press is pleased to present Robert Hayman’s Quodlibets, Lately Come over from New Britaniola, Old Newfoundland.

Quodlibets - Front Cover

Hayman’s Quodlibets is a collection of witty, poetic verses that were penned while he served as governor in colonial Harbour Grace, Newfoundland between 1618 and 1628. His is likely the first English poetry penned in North America.

And, his work is quite impressive. Containing original poetry as well as his translations of pieces by John Owen and Francois Rabelais, Quodlibets reflects on thieves and knaves, good wives and whores, as well as the untamed beauty of Newfoundland. Hayman’s poetry exposes his love for Newfoundland, inviting the adventurous and hopeful to settle this rock.

Robert Hamyan’s Quodlibets can be purchased through Amazon.ca and Amazon.com in both print and Kindle ebook formats. You can find this and other great titles in the Problematic Press Store! Check out the links in the menu above.

Please, read and enjoy!

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Upcoming Treats

Cheers!

Thanks so much for all of your interest in this humble venture thus far! I strive to satisfy your expectations, and I’d like to share with you my own expectations for 2013. Expect to see the following titles in the inaugural year of Problematic Press:

Quodlibets (1628) by Robert Hayman is quite likely the first work of English literature penned in North America. Hayman composed this collection of epigrams during his service as Governor of the English colony in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. Containing original poetry as well as his translations of pieces by John Owen and Francois Rabelais, Quodlibets reveals Hayman’s poetic insight reflects on thieves and knaves, good wives and whores, as well as the beauty of this rock we call Newfoundland. This is a saucy appeal from an adventurer’s soul, crying out to others to share in his quest! (This edition has been adapted from the original Middle English by David Reynolds.)

A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder (1888) by James De Mille was the professor’s most popular tale. Set in a lush hidden oasis in Antarctica that’s infested with prehistoric monsters, De Mille takes us for a ride in this tongue-in-cheek epic of romantic fantasy!

The True Story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff: The Troll’s Side of the Story (1991) by David Reynolds was written when the author was just 11 years old. Subtle and charming, the work reinterprets the Norwegian fairytale from the perspective of the kind troll who falls prey to the prejudice of the oldest goat Gruff.

Assuming all things run smoothly from here on out, Quodlibets should be available by March 2013. In the meantime, keep an eye out for other announcements and fun tidbits from Problematic Press!

Cheers!

DR

P.S.: Here’s a new treat I can’t wait to announce – the Kindle has come to Canada! Check the Problematic Press Shop (CAN) for all the tasty techno-treats!

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