Welsh Retrospective

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Seren, 1997 - Poetry - 71 pages
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"Welsh Retrospective is a selection of poems about his native Wales by one of Britain's most popular poets. Dannie Abse's Welsh and Jewish backgrounds have been essential to his writings. Wales and Cardiff, in particular, have haunted his imagination. In this revealing new book book he writes movingly about the Cardiff of his childhood, home of his beloved Bluebirds football team, and also about the small village of Ogmore-by-Sea, location of early holidays and for many years his home in Wales. Selected from the whole of Dannie Abse's writing career, the book includes such well known and well-loved poems as “Return to Cardiff” and “In the Theatre” alongside many previously uncollected poems. Abse's range is remarkable. Vivid character portraits of Aunt Alice and Cousin Sidney sit next to tributes to poet predecessors, Dylan Thomas and Vernon Watkins. Some poems draw on Jewish writings, others on Welsh language literature. Welsh Retrospective gives fascinating insights into Dannie Abse's Wales and his verstility as a poet. His Wales is anything but parochial, his poems effortlessly universal. Every reader will be struck by a poet who has a gift for accepting mortality with wise optimism. The book is edited by Cary Archard who provides an introduction and notes on the poems."

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Contents

Introduction
7
Leaving Cardiff
11
Musical Moments
12
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Dannie Abse was born in Cardiff, Wales on September 22, 1923. He trained as a doctor at King's College London and Westminster Hospital, where he qualified in 1950. In 1951, he was called up for national service as a medical officer in the RAF. In 1954, he went to the Middlesex Hospital, where he stayed for the rest of his medical career, as specialist in charge of the chest clinic at the Central Medical Establishment. His first collection of poetry, After Every Green Thing, was published in 1948 and his first autobiographical novel, Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve, was published in 1954. His other collections of poetry include A Small Desperation; Funland; White Coat, Purple Coat: Collected Poems, 1948-88; Two for Joy: Scenes from Married Life; Speak, Old Parrot; and Ask the Moon. He won the Roland Mathais Prize in 2007 for Running Late and the Wales Book of the Year award in 2008 for The Presence. His other novels include Some Corner of an English Field; O. Jones, O. Jones; There Was a Young Man from Cardiff; and The Strange Case of Dr. Simmonds and Dr. Glas. He wrote two books of memoirs, A Poet in the Family and Goodbye, Twentieth Century. He also wrote a number of plays. In the early 1950s, he edited a magazine entitled Poetry and Poverty and compiled a variety of anthologies including Wales in Verse and the Hutchinson Book of Post-War British Poets. In 2012, he accepted his CBE for services to poetry and literature. He died on September 28, 2014 at the age of 91.

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