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The King of Britain's Daughter
ISBN: 978 1 857540 31 4
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: April 1993
216 x 135 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.
Praise for Gillian Clarke
'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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