A Recipe for Water; Gillian Clarke; 2009; Carcanet Press
“The drop of water on the tongue, writes Gillian Clarke, ‘was the first word in the world’, and the language of water is the element in which these poems live. Ocean currents create histories and cultures – the port cities of Cardiff and Mumbai; myths are born where great rivers have their source high in the mountains. A bottle of spring water contains the mineral elements of life; we can read the earth’s deep history in arctic ice. We share the rhythms of migrations in the pull of tides and seasons through rivers and estuaries.In her first collection since becoming the National Poet of Wales in 2008, Gillian Clarke explores water as memory and meaning, the bearer of stories that well up from a personal and collective past to return us to the language of the imagination in which we first named the world.” Source and more info here
This collection ranges over various aspects of water, but there is series of wonderful poems about the tides – particularly those in the Severn Estuary – Cardiff. The messages are deeply ecological, with warnings about what losses a Severn Barrage would bring – and the losses the Taff Barrage has brought. The poems are steeped in history and place.
Some of these poems are viewable in full on Amazon here
In 2008 Gillian Clarke was appointed National Poet of Wales and in 2010 she was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.