Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

‘The Women from Wales’

26 October 2012


Here’s a taste of the wonderful poetry which is being produced by the ‘Write Stuff’ W.E.A. Creative Writers group (the ‘Hoole-igans’), inspired by the Discover Medieval Chester project. At the workshop with the Grosvenor Museum, the group reflected on Chester’s status – both in the medieval period and today – as a border city. I’ve been asked to point out that Jan Bengree’s poem is still a work in progress – though it’s already so evocative and draws a wonderful connection between the relationships between Chester and Wales in the medieval period and in the twentieth century. I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you here.



The Women from Wales
by Jan Bengree

The women from Wales talk in secret words
which lift and lilt and speckle
the solemn brown air in dignified Browns Of Chester.*

drifting between tweedy coats, camel coats,
mackintoshes with prim tight belts,
demurely waiting……like Ebenezer women, dressed for chapel.

Then the women (the women from Wales)
waft into English…
whisper how brown suits Bronwen…
how green’s the colour of Gwenda’s pretty Welsh eyes…
how black has shades…
of coal, of night, of Nain’s weary beautiful old eyes….
And I stand by the coats and I watch the Welsh ladies

BUT THEN my mother says: “Come!”
and she beckons me on and she scurries me on…..
away from the women from Wales.

* Brown’s of Chester: a long-established department store, at its peak in the 1950s. Long visited by folk from Wales, particularly for shopping on Saturdays!