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ISBN: 978 1 857543 35 3
Categories: Welsh, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 1997
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (Kindle), eBook (EPUB)
The lane narrows and turns between sunburnt fields.
Two hundred miles behind me, you at the door
rising for breakfast, a late dream in your eyes.
The slate's already hot. The bees are in the fuchsia.
A rug of sunlight on the bedroom floor, ours
and the widower's bed spread cool for homecoming.
from 'Coming Home'
The Welsh publishing house Gwasg Gomer published Gillian Clarke's first full collection of poems, The Sundial, in 1978. In the twenty years since then the poet has become one of the best-loved and most widely read writers of Wales, well-known for her readings, for her radio work and her workshops.
'Gillian Clarke's poems ring with lucidity and power . . .her work is both personal and archetypal, built out of language as concrete as it is musical,' the Times Literary Supplement said. She combines traditional skills with an original voice and outlook, and with a history which includes the unwritten stories of Welsh women. Her Selected Poems has proven one of the most popular volumes of modern Welsh poetry, having gone through seven printings in a dozen years. `Her language has a quality both casual and intense, mundane and visionary,' the Listener said of Letter from a Far Country.
`There is no gaudiness in her poetry; instead, the reader is aware of a generosity of spirit which allows the poems' subjects their own unbullied reality.'
Gillian Clarke is a severe critic of her own poems. Collected Poems includes all that she wishes to preserve of her work to date.
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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