Wednesday, 26 November 2008


Also while in Wales, I bought a couple of books of poetry. One was Chase Twichell's Perdido, which I haven't started yet, and the other was Lynette Roberts' Collected Poems, which I've barely put down since.

Roberts is a very interesting figure. She was undoubtedly a modernist, but a highly idiosyncratic one (not surprisingly given her background, born in Argentina to Australian parents of Welsh descent), and much of her work wasn't widely available until quite recently.

She touches on one of my recurring poetic obsessions - englyns. These are a Welsh form of verse, involving very strict rules, but although I can think of quite a few poets who have had a go at them (Gillian Clarke, Richard Caddel, Robert Graves, for starters), I think they often tend to be rather anglicised versions, without adhering strictly to the cynghanned pattern. I might be doing those poets a disservice, though, and must go back to their books to check.

Anyway, I even included a (again very anglicised) version of one in my own book, and I often mess about with them, even if it's just to get me writing. They're satisfyingly compact and punchy, I think.

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