To live in Welshpool

after R. S.

To live in Welshpool

To live in Welshpool in the 80s
when the Smithfield was central
(where Tescos now is)
was to be woken on Mondays a touch before dawn
by heaving lorries and braying beasts.

That was the only day
to hear Welsh on the streets.
Not much food there, then, for the learner – me.

I heard of a family of native Welsh speakers,
and cornered their tastiest son.
While stripping his sunburn in my single room
I learned more, and more, and mwy.

This poem was written on a course at Tŷ Newydd that covered a range of ways in which existing works of art can give rise to new poems. This poem took R. S. Thomas’ ‘Welsh Landscape’ as its starting point; you can hear R. S. himself reading ‘Welsh Landscape’ here.

© Susan Walton 2017

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