Aug 10, 2010

Nature and Language’s Revival in the Valleys Inspires Maesteg Poet

This week Y Lolfa will be publishing a new volume of Welsh poetry by a learner from Maesteg. Cerddi’r Galon by Susan May is a collection of poems which transport the reader to the old industrial valleys of south Wales, where the works now stand idle and nature can be seen at her best once more. Susan began learning Welsh in the 1990s so that she was able to converse with her mother when she was unwell, she explains,

“My mother was bedridden and no-one remained of the family’s older generation to speak to her in Welsh so I decided to learn the language with her in 1994. When my mother died I promised myself that I would continue to learn to speak and write in Welsh.”

In 2001 Susan won the Learners Chair in the National Eisteddfod with the poem Yfory, which is included in this book along with several poignant and honest poems which discuss her childhood and life and topical issues such as open-cast mining. The poems look at the scars left behind on the landscape by the heavy industries of the area,

“Three coal mines employed 3,000 miners in the Maesteg area and some of the poems look at the beauty which has returned to these valleys.”

Her Welsh tutor, Morgan D Jones, has clearly made an impression on Susan as she has written a poem especially for him and he has written the foreword for this volume. Susan May was a lecturer in midwifery prior to her retirement. In order that Welsh learners can enjoy the poems she has included a vocabulary for each one. Cerddi’r Galon is sure to enrich the experience of learning the Welsh language, and will appeal to learners of different standards and Welsh speakers alike. The price of Cerddi’r Galon, which is part of the Golau Gwyrdd (Green Light) series by Y Lolfa, is £4.95.

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