It is the sound of Dylan’s voice, the sound of his poetry read aloud, either by Dylan himself, many years ago, on the BBC or by another Welsh person, by Anthony Hopkins, by Richard Burton, or by a friend of mine, the late Philip Madoc, that has inspired me. When I write a poem I often hear Dylan’s voice in my head. It is sonorous, baritone, deep and it echoes in the mind.
A poem in which I heard Dylan’s voice or, if you like, that I wrote with Dylan’s voice seemingly articulating the words in my head, was ‘Sounds’. It describes the sounds of my home town that I heard when I was growing up. I dispense with punctuation in much of the poem as the sounds drift in and out of my memory.
As I often hear or imagine Dylan’s voice when I am writing, I also often imagine Dylan doing something or other. I see him debating with his friends in the Kardomah (both the old and the new) in Swansea, for example (‘The Toddington Poetry Society’, ‘The Kardomah’).
A gentleman, the JP in one of the Kardomah poems, who lives on a farm to the north of Swansea in a place called Cwmgwili, said to me of Poetry some ten years ago: “It flows though the air” [in Wales]. I tend to think that it flows through the air in many places, not all, but it is true that it is almost tangible in Wales.
The author first visited Gower when he was a child. He remembers standing, in the nineteen-fifties, on shattered glass in the then abandoned airport control tower on Fairwood Common. He remembers cycling past high roadside banks bursting with wild flowers.
His wife Kathleen Patricia (‘Paddy’) was from the area.