Authors: Patricia Monaghan
Trade Paperback/CD, 200 pages
Publication date: May 2002
Price & More Info: Click Here
The first edition of Seasons of the Witch, published in 1992, was an acclaimed book of somewhat feminist oriented Pagan poems by Patricia Monaghan. After being out of print for some time, Llewellyn has reprinted an expanded version of the book. Not only are there more poems, but the second edition includes a CD with 25 of the poems set to music and sung.
The book is divided into four sections, one for each season. Each section has a large number of poems, most only a page or so in length, for the season. Most poems are Goddess oriented and some are quite feminist (although not to the point of being offensive to males as some feminist poetry I've seen). Monaghan included a number of additional poems in this second edition. If my memories of the original edition are accurate, the new edition has a wider variety of poetic styles. While most of the poems stand by themselves, there are several different cycles of poems: a diurnal poem cycle, an agricultural poem cycle, a feminine archetype poem cycle, etc. This makes Seasons of the Witch a valuable ritual resource for members of goddess oriented Pagan religions.
The major addition to the second edition, however, is the CD. It features 25 poems from the book set to music and performed by Patricia Monaghan, Sally Combs, Susan La Croix, James Robbins, Claudia Blythe, Kirsten Baird Gustafson, Lili McGovern, and others. I was surprised by the quality of this CD. I can see why the major music labels are running scared, artists no longer need them to get their work out to the public. The CD played just fine on my computer. There was no sign of copy protection or other problems. The CD is a wonderful addition to the book. Several poems that did not interest me at all in print, were impressive when set to music and sung.
Patricia Monaghan is a true poet whose carefully chosen words paint large pictures in the mind of the reader. While her poetry may not appeal to all Pagans, it is generally recognized as some of the best poetry in the Pagan community -- especially within the Goddess spirituality movement. The expanded edition Seasons of the Witch is a fine addition to the library of any Goddess oriented Pagan. Those on other paths will probably find the volume a more questionable purchase.
Reviewed by Randall