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Bibliographical Information
Hare That Hides Within, The - Poems About St. Melangell
ISBN: 9781902638386 (1902638387)Publication Date September 2017
Publisher: Parthian Books, Cardigan
Edited by Anne Cluysenaar, Norman Schwenk Format: Paperback, 205x127 mm, 48 pages Language: English Available Our Price: £5.95 
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An anthology of 11 poems about St Melangell, some poems appeared previously in other publications, with biographical notes on the ten poets and a foreword by Archbishop Rowan Williams. First published in January 2004.

Blodeugerdd o 11 o gerddi amrywiol am Santes Melangell, rhai cerddi wedi ymddangos eisoes mewn cyhoeddiadau eraill, gyda nodiadau bywgraffyddol am y deg bardd a rhagair gan yr Archesgob Rowan Williams. Cyhoeddwyd gyntaf Ionawr 2004.
This collection from Parthian is in celebration (and support) of the restoration of St Melangell's shrine at Pennant. This has inspired many Welsh poets to treat the legend of the saint who sheltered a hunted hare and founded a sanctuary. Several play on the pagan, magical associations of the hare; others on the power of the maiden over the hunter. The sequence is edited by Anne Cluysenaar and Norman Schwenk who both contribute poems. There is also a perceptive foreword by Archbishop Rowan Williams.

The Collection includes ‘Melangell Variations’ by Gwyneth Lewis which was separately commissioned and in which ‘Melangell is a door’ to some rather unexpected places. These sit a little uneasily with the others, but her original 'story' poem has a most beautiful final stanza.

Hilary Llewellyn-Williams’s ‘The Innocent Hare’ is a successful blend of the real and magical. Ruth Bidgood's ‘Hare at Pennant’ is another, while her ‘Cwm Pennant’ goes beyond the saint's story to other legends and people of the valley - a tender and evocative group of poems. To me the most appealing work in the collection is ‘Visitatiori’ by Marian Glasscoe, whose own encounter with a speeding hare leads to a vividly imagined and lightly, humorous version of the story.

This is an attractive collection showing a wide range of styles and responses to a traditional story. A few, it must be said, are there for their content more than their quality. However, it is a celebration both of a special place of enduring significance and a legend which keeps unfolding new aspects to the imagination.

Caroline Clark

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgement should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio’r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatad Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
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