This year October 8th falls on a Sunday, as in 1967, when in
Often referred to as “
His poetry was composed in spite of the time pressure of full-time work six days a week in a bank, entailing bus journeys to and from Pennard to Hospital Square (the junction of St Helen’s Road and Bryn-y-Mor Road), and not neglecting his wife Gwen and his five children. He met Gwen during the war, when they both worked at
The 50th anniversary of his death is being marked in several ways. This month Jeff Towns’ exhibition is in the foyer of the Singleton campus University library, with last Monday a reading of and discussion about his poetry at the Taliesin Theatre. This morning a Vernon Watkins walk will start from outside Pennard’s Three Cliffs coffee shop at 11am, while on 19th October the Ostreme Centre in Mumbles hosts a talk from the editor of “New Collected Poems” at 8pm - admission £3.
These events and a forthcoming biography should ensure that Vernon Watkins, whom Dylan described as “The most profound and greatly accomplished Welshman writing poems in English”, is not forgotten.
Late I return, O violent, colossal, reverberant, eavesdropping sea.
My country is here. I am foal and violet. Hawthorn breaks from my hands.
I watch the inquisitive cormorant pry from the praying rock of Pwlldu,
Then skim to the gulls’ white colony, to Oxwich’s cockle-strewn sands.
(from “Taliesin in Gower”, courtesy of Gwen Watkins)