Tuesday 15 March Gillian Clarke was born in Cardiff in and is a poet, playwright, editor, broadcaster, lecturer and translator from Welsh. She has published ten collections of poetry for adults: She has also written several collections for children, her work is widely anthologised, and her poetry forms part of the school syllabus in Britain.
Her volumes of poetry have been released at intervals since the s, the most recent, Making the Beds for the Dead, appearing in Her work has reached a wide audience, in part due to her lecturing and teaching activities, and has featured on school examination syllabi as well as on university courses.
It is personal work, written out of Gillian clarke female consciousness, and sometimes considered "feminist"; her early "Letter from a Far Country," for example, was described as "a poem of the first political magnitude, as well as one of the great women's poems of any time".
Letter from a Far Country is a letter from a fictitious woman to all men. The "far country" is childhood, womanhood, Wales, the beautiful country where the warriors, kings and presidents don't live, the private place where we all grow up. Wynn Thomas has pointed to the androgynous stance, the ambiguous feminism, in "The King of Britain's Daughter" in particular;  however, in the light of the current emphasis within feminist studies on a lesbian approach and the popularity within literary studies of postcolonial work, it is appropriate at Gillian clarke present time to examine the many difficulties and ambiguities which occur in an exploration of Clarke's poetry as either feminist or postcolonial.
This essay will approach such an exploration through a detailed examination of the use of myths and fairytales in "The King of Britain's Daughter. Wynn Thomas refers to the "twinned instances of oppression" in this context  may indeed rather be seen as diluting it, due to her respectful and affectionate regard both for her father's influence and also for her Welsh heritage,  the frequently patriarchal traditions of her native land.
Critics have already pointed to this effect: Thomas has described her instinct, when using myth, "to subsume gender difference within what, for her remains the overriding, primary, category of the undifferentiatedly 'human'". Similarly, her Welshness is uneasily situated for inclusion in postcolonial discussions, although there is currently significant internal debate amongst critics of Welsh writing in English as to the feasibility and indeed accuracy of approaching Welsh writing as postcolonial;  this includes areas of debate on both historical and current issues: English law and political administration were ruthlessly imposed, within an increasingly centralized "British" state.
The Welsh language was made the object of systematic discrimination and, where necessary, repression. Succeeding phases of a dominant Welsh landowning class were successfully Anglicized and either physically or politically drawn away to the English centre. Anglicizing institutions, from the boroughs to the grammar schools, were successfully implanted.
All these processes can properly be seen as forms of political and cultural colonization. John Prichard explained the situation in Not only were we the first radio generation, but we were also the first generation, possibly in the world, to be denied our native language, not by statutory rule or government decree, but by the deliberate choice of our parents.
All of us present have, or had, either one or two Welsh-speaking parents. Not one of us can speak Welsh. And the same is true of many thousands of Welshmen. Thomas, Emyr Humphreys and Gillian Clarke were amongst those brought up in this situation, although, as will be seen in the poem-sequence under discussion in this essay, Clarke's father ensured her childhood was steeped in Welsh culture if not in the language, which she learnt as an adult.
Lloyd, writing inclaims that: Speaking or writing Welsh communicates cultural—even political—allegiance, which partly accounts for the significant number of contemporary English-language writers who have learned, or are learning, the language.
She outlines her understanding both of the tensions created in the Welsh writer because of the existence of the two languages—"English: In some eyes it is a region of Britain, in others a separate nation.
Chris Williams' measured proposal that Wales be viewed not, using Michael Hechter's phrase, as an "internal colony" but as a "dependent periphery" allows for "inequalities between the two societies" 8before concluding that "[a] 'post-national' Wales is a more attractive prospect" More children are now educated in the Welsh language than were in the previous two generations.
However, the majority of Welsh people is not bilingual, and their immersion in and awareness of Welsh culture runs the whole gamut of the possible range. Like the poetry of R. Thomas and the novels of Emyr Humphreys, Clarke's poetry is written in English, her first language, but is nevertheless redolent of a Welsh consciousness and produced in a Welsh landscape by a writer whose allegiance is to a small nation, often disregarded, deemed marginal.
At the same time it was the border where the two languages of Wales define themselves and each other, and the definition of self and other was one of the most intriguing aspects of the subject. The meaning of border deepened, layer by layer.
I saw those borders inside Wales like a backwards journey into history where the post-industrial south dwindles among tin sheds and tethered alsatians, where sad ponies starve on the yellowed grass of slag, and where, one ridge onwards, another Wales begins as a mountain tilts westward into pasture and wooded valleys.
Somewhere in this complex mental landscape of fractures and sutures a childhood tilts into adulthood. Clarke's borders, her areas of conflict, are those formed in the child where the genes and the influence of mother and father counteract; they simultaneously occur in the cultural and geographical divisions within a society and in the uneasy transition between childhood and adulthood.
La Fronteradefines her own borderland in similar, if more pronounced and more dramatic ways. She outlines a similar, if more forceful, impetus for the individual's needs to be subsumed into those of the tribe to ensure its survival, as that discussed in Clarke's case above The tribal culture, when rigidly patriarchal, is problematic for the rebellious female: Actually it keeps women in rigidly defined roles" The Welsh writers R.
S. Thomas, Emyr Humphreys and Gillian Clarke were amongst those brought up in this situation, although, as will be seen in the poem-sequence under discussion in this essay, Clarke's father ensured her childhood was steeped in Welsh culture if .
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Gillian Clarke conflates the two events in this poem. The poet has said that she saw on television an interview with a woman who lost her son in the first crash and was deeply moved by her grief.
Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography. Gillian Clarke was born in Cardiff in and is a poet, playwright, editor, broadcaster, lecturer and translator (from Welsh).
She became the National Poet of Wales in , and was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in For Gillian Clarke's poem "Lament," the stanzas shown use imagery and metaphors to describe the realities of what occurred in the Gulf War. (Poetry is very subjective, speaking to different people.