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Eborakon: Gwyneth Lewis – Henaint/Old Age

Gwyneth Lewis – Henaint / Old Age, a double pleasure in Welsh and English.

Pleasure despite excruciating pain. I find myself recommending a tormenting thrill. Gwyneth Lewis’s Welsh poem Henaint and her translation of it into English, Old Age are excellent examples of the wonderful double enjoyment that a poet working in two languages can offer. Continue reading Eborakon: Gwyneth Lewis – Henaint/Old Age

Dreams and the Writer: a skewed and fresh perspective?

‘A dream unquestioned is a letter unopened’. Apparently. Do you agree?

Twenty years ago I was in the grip of prolonged and serious physical pain due to a then-undiagnosed condition. I couldn’t work as normal. I spent long periods confined to the house. Someone was very unkind to me and, as a way of acknowledging his fault without having to say it aloud, he handed me a book, saying I might find it of interest. I had plenty of time to read it thoroughly, footnotes and all and, in one of those, discovered a reference to a book that came to mind forcefully this morning.

I woke from a  dream so vivid and engaging that I was able to write down the dialogue between the figures in it and to describe their outward and inward dispositions, partly because I had ‘been’ them all, inhabiting the action from their perspectives. This is not possible in waking life. At least not with the immediate and assured access a dream affords.

This morning’s scenes, I realised, in which I was both multiply participant and also the observer, opened up for me a way to go deeper into a character in the novel I’m writing.

I wonder how common it is for writers to take advantage of what dreams offer? Continue reading Dreams and the Writer: a skewed and fresh perspective?

Novel Research 4- Abandoned: Not Forgotten?

The fourth research trip for my novel (6th – 17th April), coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, was necessarily a time of public reflection, assessment and forecasting about peace and conflict, in great depth and with many of the major actors back in the spotlight.

Bill Clinton receives the Freedom of the City of Belfast

Continue reading Novel Research 4- Abandoned: Not Forgotten?

Poem in ‘Spring’s Bride’

Easter edition Bangor Literary Journal. Download here

Easter

A rent in the year

Through which the cold news comes:

Even the best of us

Will be consumed by pain,

Abandoned undeservedly

And not know why

And asked to say to all this,

Yes,

Though he destroy me

Yet I trust in him.

Each of us shivers

In this gap,

Choosing to assent

Or not

To love’s defiance

Of anything other than itself.

Victory or vindication –

These it lets fall

(Aborted fruits),

Facing into the wind,

Arms wide.

Novel Research, Kindness and Methodology

The third research trip for my novel started and ended with snow. My flight from Cardiff to Belfast was delayed by 23 inches of it near the airport and by another fall on the return but I encountered nothing other than warmth from the people I met in Northern Ireland.

It was a pleasure to spend time with teachers, schoolchildren, community workers, experts in Irish and Ulster Scots, journalists, farmers and agricultural experts. I also enjoyed two great reading gigs and came home with a prize certificate.

Receiving Commended certificate in Bangor Literary Journal 40 Words Poetry Competition from Poet, Moyra Donaldson

Continue reading Novel Research, Kindness and Methodology