Friday, 22 February 2008

Poetic directions in North Wales

Poet-in-Residence, on the trail of R S Thomas, approached a local woman hanging out washing in a small village near Aberdaron, North Wales. Aberdaron itself is situated on a bay in a wild and remote location, a lovely and lonely spot on the tip of the long finger of the Lleyn Peninsula. It is a village where R S Thomas served as a priest. Poet-in-Residence's telling poem tells the tale.

Telling Directions

R S Thomas is it?
Famous poet?
We're Chapel here...
Well my husband is.
'nglish he is, that man Thomas;
Lived in Cardiff I believe; once
Painted a church as black as night.
I can't say I liked him very much;
Mind you, I haven't actually read him,
But I've heard things you see.
Welsh, you say? And lived here?
We're Chapel here...
No need for windows in a chapel,
The buggers can't read, he used to say;
And him a priest.
For the Nobel Prize?
I suppose, you could ask
in the village post office -
She's ... 'nglish.

c)- Gwilym Williams

The poem is a little tongue-in-cheek, but contains more than a grain of truth. Having said that, P-i-R found the Aberdaroners to be more than friendly, enjoyed a glass or two with his fish & chip supper in The Ship, and in the mornings took long bracing walks over the hills.

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