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The King of Britain's Daughter
ISBN: 978 1 857540 31 4
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: April 1996
213 x 133 x 15 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
She calls me, her lace
cuffing the stones below the waterfall,
her pearls beading the air.
Her sheets are out above the field,
tugging for Ireland in a westerly,
and she comes between the trees
to fetch me home,
her apron full of pegs,
and in each hand
is one warm egg, laid wild.
The King of Britain's Daughter was specially commissioned as the text of an oratorio for the 1993 Hay on Wye Festival, and is based on the story in the Mabinogion of Branwen, the daughter of Llŷr. Family legend associated the story with Fforest, the family farm, where the giant's footprint is preserved as a rock pool,and Fforest and Welsh legend have provided the inspiration for this part of the book, which also contains a variety of other vivid and memorable poems.
Awards won by Gillian Clarke Winner, 2011 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
Winner, 2012 Wilfred Owen Award
Praise for Gillian Clarke 'Clarke has a direct line to the natural world. She paints the Welsh landscape without idealising or romanticising, and in the process shows that nature doesn't need to be elevated to inspire a quiet awe.'
Financial Times Best Books of 2017
'Always openings. Perceptions never alien to the new. No borders enclose her ideas. They are allowed to roam in her meticulous phrasing. And yet her greatest strength is, paradoxically, her moments of both closure and trapped moments of insight delivered to us grateful readers with faithful intelligence.'
'Clarke is a singer among poets, a celebrant of landscape, trees, insects, dead ewes, a writer whose rhythms and vocabulary seem tenaciously rooted in the traditions of the place of their origin.'
The Tablet 'Gillian Clarkeâs outer and inner landscapes are the sources from which her poetry draws its strengths.'
Carol Ann Duffy, Guardian
'Gillian Clarke's [poems] ring with lucidity and power... Clarke's work is both personal and archetypal, built out of language as concrete as it is musical.'
Anne Stevenson, Times Literary Supplement 'Gillian Clarke is one of the most widely respected and deeply loved poets in the world.'
Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate 'In Ice Gillian Clarke explores memory and identity through a series of winter landscapes.'
Adam Newey, The Guardian, 1st December 2012
'Clarke's mellifluous new collection [A Recipe for Water] is her first since her appointment as Wales's national poet in 2008. The drop of water on the tongue, she tells us, 'was the first word in the world', and it's through water that these poems give up their stories: history is written into the Arctic's ice; myths well up from river sources; the currents on the ocean wash culture and heritage onto our shores. Watery collections have poured forth from the pens of poets from Sean O'Brien to Maura Dooley in recent years; anticipation is high for Clarke's contribution to the pool'.
Sarah Crown, the Guardian, 3 January 2009
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