Philip Gross
Cyril Jones
Valerie Coffin Price
Publication Date: 
Thursday, March 18, 2021
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To turn, to dig, to plough, to upset, to translate… Bend, lap, journey, time... The Welsh word troeon unfolds meaning after meaning. In TROEON : TURNINGS, two poets confident in their own traditions meet in the hinterland between translation and collaboration - Cyril Jones from the disciplines of Welsh cynghanedd, Philip Gross from the restless variety of English verse. Rather than lamenting the impossibility of reproducing any language’s unique knots of form and content in translation, they trust each other to explore the energies released.

           In the cloud chamber, atoms tear, spin, split,
           translate the past and future
           into spirals, spun silk, sheer
           release, the heart of the matter.

In the same spirit, Valerie Coffin Price plays an equal part with striking letterpress designs that surprise the language of both writers into new awareness of its possibilities.


Troi, aredig, cerdded, treigldŵr... Yn y gyfrol TROEON : TURNINGS mae dau fardd sydd â’u gwreiddiau mewn gwahanol draddodiadau yn cyfarfod yn y cytir rhwng cyfieithu a chydweithio. Daw Cyril Jones o gefndir disgyblaeth y gynghanedd a Philip Gross o gefndir mwy amrywiol ac aflonydd barddoniaeth Saesneg. Yn hytrach na gresynu nad yw’n bosib atgynhyrchu clymau ffurf a chynnwys ieithoedd trwy gyfieithu, maen nhw yn ymddiried yn ei gilydd i ryddhau egni o’r newydd ar sail y gred fod haearn yn hogi haearn.

           Ar waetha’r storm a’r hwthwm o glefyd,                                                                                                         
           geilw haf ei fwrlwm
           adar i dewi’r larwm                                                                                                                                   
           a churo’n galon trwy’i gwm.  (Mehefin 2020)

Yn yr un ysbryd mae Valerie Coffin Price yn chwarae'i rhan hithau trwy gyfrwng dyluniadau trawiadol ei hargraffwaith, gan roi tro annisgwyl i iaith y ddau fardd a chreu ymwybyddiaeth newydd o'l phosibliadau.




Review by Mab Jones, Buzz Magazine

Friday, April 16, 2021

This collaborative collection manages to combine an expansive sense of the epic with a lively, lighthearted approach to language. This admixture of playfulness and profundity makes the book at once intelligent and engaging, giving it depth yet also keeping it accessible. I like that the poets, throughout, ask questions, and never presume their own authority – although, as extremely accomplished writers indeed, it would be within their right to do so.

This querying also means that they don’t presume to know the land, a fault I find with some nature writers and indeed with humans generally. We tend to view green places as a ‘known’ and project our own understanding – our own natures – onto them. Instead, these poets are seekers: from “Mountain? I doubt” in an early poem to “here you have… what?” in a later one, we track the writers’ steps, follow them on their journeys, flow from river to river, reflecting with them and fully engaged as they observe and openly quiz.

Some of the poems are haiku-like, some struck me with the force of koan; there are influences, too, from cynghanedd and from other lyrical forms.  A series of stunning englynion paint pictures of gorgeous birds and the form combines, later, with Japanese renga to create some vivid, very striking images. Valerie Coffin Price’s letterpress works are stark, expressive, and beautiful, too, making this a particularly stimulating and exciting collection as the forms and ideas, words and artwork, wind and weave together. A very thoughtful and thought-provoking book, and one that I would recommend to anyone.

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