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Cymraeg

Cymraeg Europe feature politics

Walking the borderlands of Y Mers

September 10, 2019

Sophie McKeand Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself.Walt Whitman I am in love with swallows. They have become the mascot of our travels as we follow their migratory paths: north for summer, south for winter. Standing at the borderlands of Y Mers (The Welsh Marches in south Wales) with fellow collaborator Mark Daman-Thomas, we watch summer swallows swing determined arcs from farmhouse roofs out across ankle-high grasses to take flying insects on the wing then sling-shot…

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creating Cymraeg vanlife

birdbrain

September 1, 2019

An old poem today inspired by one of my favourite birds, Dippers. There’s something utterly captivating about the way they dip-dip at the riverside, but don’t be fooled by this behaviour as they’re one of the few birds who can dive underwater to hunt in fast-flowing rivers. They’re exceptional wild swimmers and can also grip slippery rocks to wade beneath tumbling water when hunting. I haven’t seen any this year so far but I think that’s just because we haven’t…

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Cymraeg dailyconnectionwithnature nature poetry

dod i glawr (‘Stiniog)

August 26, 2019

The title of this poem is a Cymraeg idiom ‘bring to light’, ‘Stiniog is short for Blaenau Ffestiniog, a place in north Wales where we used to go mountain biking. Some of my deepest connections with the land have happened after a particularly gnarly day of exercise. There’s something about pushing yourself physically across a landscape that allows the mind to seep into new places. There’s a lot of talk these days about how little value words have, it’s probably…

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Cymraeg Europe poetry Wales

visiting Taliesin

August 24, 2019

Dwi’n caru Llyn Tegid. I love Bala Lake. It’s the birthplace of one of my favourite Cymraeg myths that tells the story of the origins of Cymru’s greatest mythic poet, Taliesin. It’s told that a powerful witch, Ceridwen, lived here. In a great cauldron of Awen (inspiration), she made a potion to transform her son into a great shapeshifter, but instead the magic accidentally transferred to a stable boy, Gwion Bach, who was enlisted to stir the potion for a…

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Cymraeg nature politics travel Wales

four bodies

August 13, 2019

Walking the borderlands of England / Cymru for Y Mers project with Mark Daman Thomas @farmhandle. Thinking what it means to belong to a place, to be accepted into the old ways, & maybe how the new generations are shapeshifting traditions across time & space.  …

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Cymraeg nature Wales

when I become firebirds

August 6, 2019

Walking the land of north Wales I’m reminded of how normal it feels to be surrounded by castles, when of course this isn’t the case. Many of the castles across this region were built by King Edward I of England in the thirteenth century as a way to subdue the indigenous Welsh peasants, to squash any further uprisings as, led by rebels such as Owain Glyndŵr, the Welsh battled for their freedom from English rule. Still the echoes of Edward’s…

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Cymraeg Europe nature politics travel

Plygu

June 17, 2019

Travelling across Europe I am coming to realise how many more cultures exist in the liminal spaces between living people & history books; how many more words & stories grow like weeds in the manicured lawn of western cultural hegemony. I need to learn languages again. I don’t have any except English and Cymraeg (and my Welsh unravels a little more every day I don’t use it); although I can get by in French. I woke thinking of this older…

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Cymraeg family feature nature poetry

National Poetry Day

October 4, 2018

  As it’s #nationalpoetryday today here’s a piece commissioned for National Poetry Day’s Free The Word Project earlier this year. BBC Radio Wales listeners called in with a word they felt best reflected Wales. I got to choose my favourite word from these and write a poem on it. I chose ‘cwtch’, for my grandson Arthur ❤️. …. ADDED NOTE: I realise I’ve written on the PDF that this was ‘on’ National Poetry Day, when it should say ‘for’ National…

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