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Places - An Anthology (Corgi Series: 12)

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Manylion a Disgrifiad y Llyfr | Book Details & Description

  • ISBN: 9780863817120
  • Publication October 2003
  • Edited by Dewi Roberts and Meic Stephens
  • Format: Paperback, 103x148 mm, 74 pages

An anthology of poetry and prose inspired by different places and composed by various Welsh poets and writers writing in English, including Gerard Manley Hopkins, Edward Thomas, Dylan Thomas, Vernon Watkins, John Cowper Powys and Gillian Clarke.

Gwales Review
First published in 2003, Places is one of six anthologies complied by Dewi Roberts in this Corgi series: the others being, War, Love, Work, Landscapes and Death.

The 39 pieces in this selection consist mainly of poems; with the exception of one poem, ‘In the Valley of Elwy’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins (included because he spent three years in the Vale of Clwyd and was deeply influenced by the experience), all are by Welsh people writing in English.

The pieces range in mood from the amusing and beautifully-observed ‘Laugharne’, an excerpt from Quite Early One Morning by Dylan Thomas, in which he reveals his obvious affection for the town; through the vivid description of a steel-working town by John Davies, ‘In Port Talbot’, which foresees that this filthy but work-providing industry will go the way of coal mining, and that South Wales will have to re-invent itself; to the melancholy of a town consisting mainly of retired elderly. This poem, ‘Sunny Prestatyn’ by John Davies, contains these telling lines:

‘Like their bungalows
the old here are detached, with no shared memory
to sift or curse or greet.’

All the writers use their words cleverly and economically to create memorable, descriptive works which reveal as much about the impact that the places had upon the authors themselves as they do about the locations. You may never visit the places portrayed in this book, but you can carry them with you in a pocket or handbag, and be transported far away from the tedium of a long train or plane journey to an unknown but comfortingly familiar part of your own country.

Hilary Gibson