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At the Source: A Writer's Year
Fusing poetry, memoir, and nature writing, this evocative prose collection conducts a literary exploration of place and language. Reflecting upon the geography, history, and mythology of Wales, the verse delves into the sources of both Welsh and English dialects while incorporating essays and journal extracts, creating a seasonal portrait of the beloved Welsh landscape. Fr ...more
Paperback, 165 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Carcanet Press Ltd.
(first published October 1st 1999)
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Gillian Clarke writes mainly about her smallholding in rural Wales, and her life as a writer; but I particularly enjoyed her recollections of her childhood and young adulthood in Cardiff, where I too was also brought up. Lovely descriptions of the civic centre with its avenues of Elm trees before they were laid low by Dutch Elm disease. Altogether a very interesting and insightful read.
It's a bit of a mishmash of material, but the meditative, contemplative tone is easy to fall into. The latter half, focusing on a year on her farm in rural Ceredigion, is especially lovely. Read for research, and the second half was of limited utility but considerable pleasure.
Gillian Clarke (b. 1937) is one of the central figures in contemporary Welsh poetry, the third to take up the post of National Poet of Wales. Her own poems have achieved widespread critical and popular acclaim (her Selected Poems has gone through seven printings and her work is studied by GCSE and A Level students throughout Britain) but she has also made her cultural mark through her inspirationa ...more