The Little Hours: New and Selected Poems
Hilary Llewellyn-Williams is one of the most renowned poets of her generation in Wales. The Little Hours: New and Selected Poems features poems from her earliest as well as her latest work.
Fully immersed in the natural world, the ‘Tree Calendar’ poems are composed in a richly pagan context: cycles of nature as reflected in the seasons which “reaffirm a mystical link between trees and language”. ‘Book of Shadows’, Llewellyn-Williams’ sequence on Renaissance monk/magician Giordano Bruno, is similarly invested in the mystical and in history, and in the heretical, the subverting or challenging of societal norms.
In ‘Animaculture’ and ‘Greenland’ her work assumes a darker tone, inspired by personal experience: family, dreams and childhood memories. She explores the natural world, the environment, the condition of women and the mysterious interface between nature and spirituality.
This exploration of darker themes continues in ‘The Little Hours’, a new sequence arranged according to the traditional monastic hours. Llewellyn-Williams continues to hone her lyrical skill with poems about domestic life, grief and loss, including a sequence written in memory of her late husband.
It is the primacy of physical place, the environment, which informs her startling and vivid imagery. Llewellyn-Williams is one of the earliest environmental poets; her response to nature is always profound, passionate and keenly observed, from immersion in the landscape to the particularity of feeding a bat.
This new volume will remind admirers of Llewellyn-Williams’s many strengths and beauties and will win a new generation of readers.