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This is a poem by National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn, it was commissioned by National Museum Wales to celebrate the redevelopment of St Fagans National Museum of History on 18 October 2018.

 

Our St. Fagans

(with thanks to R.S.Thomas)

 

Here is “the resurrection of things”.

Beneath the gallery lights, we claim the stage,

its glass cases like props, just for us:

“Do you remember these, Mamgu?”

And entire families

break open new experiences,

like fresh bread.

 

Here is “the resurrection of things”:

– the little things that tell the big stories,

like the watch from Senghenydd,

or the Penywyrlod skull…

 

And then, in the workshop,

beneath eighteen funnels for smoke and dust,

we get a feel of the maker’s alchemy;

stone- carving; wood-turning

or just unshaping clay, instead of looking on.

 

New dialogues begin all around;

Ganesh chats away with the Aberogwr bowl;

a bone flute joshes with a ‘fifties caravan.

New nuances

for our national narrative…

 

…for this is the essence

of the resurrection of things;

where myth and history challenge each other,

where ‘old’ and ‘modern’ chime together.

And lit by a window on the past,

we mount our stage once more,

to see ourselves anew.

 

Ifor ap Glyn
National Poet of Wales

 

Back to Ifor ap Glyn Commissioned Poems