A place of recovery

This is Gorffwysfa, a place of rest,
This is where her recovery began
Amharic text reminds us,
As we live beneath the sun,
She was an old Welsh witch,
When sky was black as gold,
She was dragged across a sunless sea
By men without a soul:
Her stories and narrations,
Her lives as yet untold

Lost in the stinking slave ship’s hold.

From the slave ships and from the factories,
From the valleys and hills,
We heard the triumph of the wizened men:
Men who’d never seen the sun;
Nor wonders could behold

Gobeen men, these counters,
These misers of the heart,
Their fractured souls’ inheritance
Was to live their lives apart
From this Abyssinian maid
Who they swore was in her grave.

Such long and false forgetting,
Of moons and seas and sunne,
Is lifted by the light of night:
In the heart, where songs begun,
Of damsels rare and golden
Who sing beneath the sun.

As Coleridge, so-long ago, foretold.

Her journey had begun….

◄  SNOW WHITE STARS

A satire of sorts ►

Comments

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Sun 27th Nov 2022 19:54

Thanks for that John.
So it means what I take it to mean! Phew-I'm off the hook"!😇

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John Marks

Sun 27th Nov 2022 18:23

You express your self eminently clearly Uilleam. When we send our poems out into the world we lose control of what they might mean. Whether or not "“an old Welsh witch,” and “this Abyssinian maid”, are two separate people, or are they separate representations of a single type of woman, for example oppressed women?" is down to you, the reader. TS Eliot said that “A good poem, indeed, is one which even the most accomplished reading cannot exhaust." So the poem means what YOU take it to mean.

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Sun 27th Nov 2022 10:16

A fascinating piece this, John. It was only your reference to Coleridge right at the end that allowed me to begin to cotton on a bit.

Are “an old Welsh witch,” and “this Abyssinian maid”, two separate people, or are they separate representations of a single type of woman, for example oppressed women? - Not sure if I've expressed my self clearly here!

Re witches: in the 16th century, Tangwlyst ferch Glyn was accused by the Bishop of St. David’s of living in sin. I believe the persecution of women like her was a result of psychological “projection”, whereby the powerful felt threatened by own insecurities and “sinful” thoughts.

In France today, midwives are still known as "femmes sages" ie. "wise women": a name given to so-called witches in mediaeval times.

Given the derisory and disrespectful treatment of midwives and the nursing profession in general by the UK government, it would appear Gombeen Britons continue to live in mediaeval fear and ignorance of things they don’t understand: i.e. Compassion and Service.
"Clapping won't pay the bills".

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