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Cymraeg

books creating Cymraeg dailyconnectionwithnature Europe nature poetry

On Welsh myth and Cretian landscapes

April 13, 2021

One of the elements of the new novel, The Madness of Sara Mansfield, that’s important to me is the nature writing. Although this sci-fi trilogy nods towards dystopia, there’s also hope, and for me, the potential for new dreams always flows from nature.After wars, or in derelict places, wild plants grow, reclaiming the space, rejoicing in their fecundity. Nature knows how to heal the scars of our making. I think this is why I find books like McCarthy’s The Road…

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Cymraeg Cymru vanlife

Dysgu Cymraeg eto

December 30, 2020

I’m often asked how I manage to live in such a small space with a man and two hounds. Honestly – once you’re happy in your own company it doesn’t really matter how big or small the space. We do loads of stuff together in the dark evenings – films, scrabble, just chatting about life and weaving dreams; but also we do our own thing, I’ve got right back into knitting after a two-year hiatus because we were in hot…

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Cymraeg Cymru nature Wales

Teachings from the Giant

December 17, 2020

Cadair Idris – Idris is a Cymraeg giant and this is his chair. Legend has it if you spend a night on this mountain you return mad or a poet (is there a difference?). I went to the mountain today and he asked, ‘What do you want?’‘I don’t want anything’ I replied.And I’ve felt proud that I’ve spent years cultivating this ‘not wanting’, growing an ability to step outside of the maelstrom of ‘want’ that we can all get sucked…

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Cymraeg dailyconnectionwithnature feature field recordings politics Wales

on borders and ecosystems

February 17, 2020

 Sophie McKeandIn response to a week-long creative residency at the National Trust’s Chirk Castle, Jan/Feb 2020 To ascend the steep, tree-lined, bird-song-filled lane and face Chirk Castle’s imposing portcullis entrance, is to do no less than to hike through centuries of time. Multifaceted layers hang like bright linen sheets in the morning fog of these borderlands, of y ffîn, so that if you slow down for long enough you might feel a slight caress on the cheek, or a brush…

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creating Cymraeg dailyconnectionwithnature poetry Wales

Balancing act

January 29, 2020

Finding my balance as an artist / as a woman // the ground shifts / & I stutter / until I understand that the dance isn’t / about knowing all the steps / but learning how to gracefully fall / in love with the process / of becoming. /// thanks for a lovely afternoon @lisaheleddjones and for helping me find my feet with it all 💗 More on this residency over in my Instagram Story Highlights.…

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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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