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Diaries, Letters and Recollections
Edited by Patrick McGuinness
Categories: 20th Century, War writings, Welsh, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (229 pages)
(Pub. Mar 2008)
November 3rd 1939. The Cottage, Llanstephan
Today Keidrych frequently found cinders of grit in his stewed apples. I told him poets must always expect pieces of chimney in their dishes, that is their fate. He laughed and said what he usually does, 'You ought to be filmed.' His ears are scarlet and I hate him, he is always chewing humbugs.
In 1939, following her marriage, the poet Lynette Roberts went to live in a small village in Wales. This experience, both enriching and isolating, became the source of some of her extraordinary poetry.
Her diary observes daily life in a Welsh village in wartime with a poetic intensity: communal harvest, the arrival of evacuees, a frozen water pump, the cadences of voices and the effects of light and rain. Seven haunting stories weave modernist myths of Wales, while her magazine articles explore Welsh life with an anthropologist's eye. Roberts's restless intelligence never limits itself to the local. She writes about Picasso and Le Corbusier, about a visit to Spain on the trail of Lorca, the solemn drama of afternoon tea with the Sitwells, the comic disaster of taking her young children to visit T.S. Eliot. Enquiring, unsentimental, wryly humorous, Roberts engages us with her speaking voice.
The publication of Lynette Roberts's Collected Poems in 2005 restored her to her place in twentieth-century poetry. This collection of her prose writings, most published here for the first time, accompanied by evocative family photographs, discloses the world that she transformed into poetry.
Awards won by Patrick McGuinness Long-listed, 2011 Wales Book of the Year, English Language Category in The Western Mail (Jilted City)
Praise for Patrick McGuinness 'When T.E. Hulme was killed in Flanders in 1917, he was known to a few people as a brilliant talker, a brilliant amateur of metaphysics, and the author of two or three of the most beautiful poems in the English language... he appears as the forerunner of a new attitude of mind...'
T.S. Eliot, The Criterion, 1924 'There is a huge amount to savor, learn from and enjoy here. Anyone with pretensions to know British writing of the 1940s should read it.'
Paul St John Mackintosh, TeleRead 'Patrick McGuinness has constructed a rough guide to a lonely planet, full of unquenchable cultural curiosity and irresistible ironies... Alive to every undulation of the linguistic landscapes in which he moves, McGuinnessâs poems often pivot on the cross-cultural possibilities of a single isolated word.'
New Welsh Review
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