Ten Poems from Wales

Edited by Gillian Clarke

Ten Poems from Wales offers readers who are new to the poetry of Wales, and those who are already in love with it, a glimpse of a rich heritage. Welsh literature is renowned for its beauty, as well as its profound influence on the writings of other cultures.

The ten poems, chosen by Gillian Clarke, range from the seventh to the twenty-first centuries, and give the reader a taste of an ancient and continuing literature. Hedd Wyn’s ‘Rhyfel’ (‘War’) is included in its original Welsh form, as well as in translation.  Two  of the poems, by Paul Henry and Gillian Clarke herself, are previously unpublished.

Gillian Clarke is a highly-respected and much-loved poet whose work is read widely across all generations. In 2008 she was appointed the National Poet for Wales.

“Not if the herbs of all Llanddewi,
Trodden and pressed, were offered to me –
Not for the likes of that, I’d sell
The shirt of the lad that I love well.”

Anonymous, sixteenth century


RS Thomas, ‘The Cat and the Sea’
Anonymous, translated by Anthony Conran, ‘Song to a Child’
Anonymous, translated by Anthony Conran, ‘The Shirt of a Lad’
Hedd Wyn, ‘Rhyfel’
Gillian Clarke, ‘War’ (translation of ‘Rhyfel’)
Dylan Thomas, ‘Fern Hill’
Alun Lewis, ‘In Hospital, Poona (I)’
Dannie Abse, ‘Sunbright’
Gillian Clarke,’Waves’
Robert Minhinnick,’The Dolphin’
Paul Henry, ‘Segovia Moon’
Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, ‘Dressmaking’

Illustration by Ian Phillips.

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