Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

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Cugel
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby Cugel » 28 Sep 2019, 10:02am

brynpoeth wrote:More good news, newyddion da, in the Grauniad

Welsh nationalist sentiment is surging, provoked by This Madness
..
New streets (heolau newydd) in Caerdydd are to have names in Welsh only, no English equivalent, that is the plan at least

Plus Two!


That article noted also that modern Welsh nationalism was less about pride (although there is a good dollop of the better kind of pride too) and more about inclusivity and self-determination. Plaid Cymru is, emblematically, in favour of EU remaining; and tends to capture those in Wales who value the still-extant socialist traditions that build and enable a good society rather than the degraded and hooliganistic kind of place found in some English places these days (e.g. Lewes).

People toss around "nationalism" and "patriotism" as though these were singular and simple concepts. They are no such thing. Welsh nationalism is far more complex, subtle and convincing than the football yob xenophobia and outright racism found in the more rabid leavers, including one or two examples around here.

Cugel

pwa
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby pwa » 28 Sep 2019, 10:12am

Cugel wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:More good news, newyddion da, in the Grauniad

Welsh nationalist sentiment is surging, provoked by This Madness
..
New streets (heolau newydd) in Caerdydd are to have names in Welsh only, no English equivalent, that is the plan at least

Plus Two!


That article noted also that modern Welsh nationalism was less about pride (although there is a good dollop of the better kind of pride too) and more about inclusivity and self-determination. Plaid Cymru is, emblematically, in favour of EU remaining; and tends to capture those in Wales who value the still-extant socialist traditions that build and enable a good society rather than the degraded and hooliganistic kind of place found in some English places these days (e.g. Lewes).

People toss around "nationalism" and "patriotism" as though these were singular and simple concepts. They are no such thing. Welsh nationalism is far more complex, subtle and convincing than the football yob xenophobia and outright racism found in the more rabid leavers, including one or two examples around here.

Cugel


Plaid are, by their own admission, a bit lefty. Which is nice and clear and is probably in tune with Wales as a whole. It must be difficult being a centre right Welsh nationalist, but I can't say I've ever met one of those so maybe they don't exist.

There is nothing new about streets having purely Welsh names. My own street has a Welsh name with no English alternative. And we are just outside Cardiff. It causes some amusement when we get someone from a call centre in, say, the North East of England trying to say our street name. Satnav voices struggle with it too. It can be quite funny.

Mike Sales
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby Mike Sales » 28 Sep 2019, 10:21am

pwa wrote:There is nothing new about streets having purely Welsh names. My own street has a Welsh name with no English alternative. And we are just outside Cardiff. It causes some amusement when we get someone from a call centre in, say, the North East of England trying to say our street name. Satnav voices struggle with it too. It can be quite funny.


There is a story about somebody living in Penisarwaun having trouble when spelling it out for an English phone operator.
I used to live in Caellepa, no English version. Try saying that, Englishman!

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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby Mike Sales » 28 Sep 2019, 10:24am

Cugel wrote:
That article noted also that modern Welsh nationalism was less about pride (although there is a good dollop of the better kind of pride too) and more about inclusivity and self-determination. Plaid Cymru is, emblematically, in favour of EU remaining; and tends to capture those in Wales who value the still-extant socialist traditions that build and enable a good society rather than the degraded and hooliganistic kind of place found in some English places these days (e.g. Lewes).

Cugel


That is why I voted Plaid.

pwa
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby pwa » 28 Sep 2019, 10:36am

Mike Sales wrote:
Cugel wrote:
That article noted also that modern Welsh nationalism was less about pride (although there is a good dollop of the better kind of pride too) and more about inclusivity and self-determination. Plaid Cymru is, emblematically, in favour of EU remaining; and tends to capture those in Wales who value the still-extant socialist traditions that build and enable a good society rather than the degraded and hooliganistic kind of place found in some English places these days (e.g. Lewes).

Cugel


That is why I voted Plaid.


I don't speak Welsh, but I once had a discussion with a Welsh speaker (who had picked it up late in life) and we agreed that in West Wales the Welsh language is, among other things, a defence against some of the worst aspects of modern culture.

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Cugel
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby Cugel » 28 Sep 2019, 2:05pm

pwa wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
Cugel wrote:
That article noted also that modern Welsh nationalism was less about pride (although there is a good dollop of the better kind of pride too) and more about inclusivity and self-determination. Plaid Cymru is, emblematically, in favour of EU remaining; and tends to capture those in Wales who value the still-extant socialist traditions that build and enable a good society rather than the degraded and hooliganistic kind of place found in some English places these days (e.g. Lewes).

Cugel


That is why I voted Plaid.


I don't speak Welsh, but I once had a discussion with a Welsh speaker (who had picked it up late in life) and we agreed that in West Wales the Welsh language is, among other things, a defence against some of the worst aspects of modern culture.


The main reason me and t'ladywife moved to Wales was one of attraction - the attraction of a culture and it's practitioners where community and a careful conservation of the tried & tested amalgamate to provide an inclusivity, stability and depth lacking now in most post-modern cultures. The post-modern is full of the shallow, the temporary and the meaningless. It's like one of those Yank cartoons where there's a change of scene about every half a second and the main theme is violent contentions with a goody-winner and a baddy-loser albeit the contentions concern nothing that matters a jot. A lot of English regions have gone-cartoon. Brexit is some sort of dark cartoon, full of baddies and goodies heading for violent confrontations they think they can just jump-up from, undamaged.

Many these days seem to operate with the crass assumption that socialism and conservatism are some sort of mutually-exclusive attitudes, with the former spoiling our consumerist urges whilst the latter allows everyone to do anything they like. In practice, socialism and conservatism are mutually supportive in that the sociability mechanisms increase the opportunities and range of what it's possible to like and enjoy without preventing everyone else from enjoying the same privilege - whilst also destroying the infrastructure that provides the supports and opportunities..

In Wales they still value public services of quality, from roads, transport, libraries and all the rest to simple good habits of neighbourliness. Yet many of the Welsh are highly individualistic, some bordering on eccentric. They represent a fine example of the paradoxical resolution of being socialistically-minded about their institutions and public services whilst being genuinely individualistic but also conservative enough to reject the new-daft when they see it.

I recall my youth, when that was true in England. It still is in parts; but so many people there seem nothing more than constructs of some mass media organs of the nastier kinds, full of often very stupid and fact-free notions served up to them by "reality" TV or Hate Mail "stories" or very stupid Yank movies. Many "are what they own" wrapped in a layer of mass media cliche and nothing more.

**************

Language is the main repository of out mental constructs and notions; and therefore of many of our behaviours. English seems these days to be full of mass-media language rots & cankers, many of them cooked up in some Yank media lab such as Hollywood and similar factories of crass ideological claptrap of the faux-individualista ilk. Much of English culture has become one big advert for a shallow consumerism in which nothing has value except money and the status is buys via conspicuous consumption and the consequent ability to denigrate "losers". Vast herds of "individuals" are in fact indistinguishable in their beliefs and behaviours, which aren't theirs at all but rather a series of simplistic gestures reminiscent of The Twist or perhaps Jiving installed via the TV.

The Welsh language might be rather too fixed & stable to meet all the "needs" of the post-modern world but it seems to be a language that forms and represents a very healthy and resilient culture, with an historical depth. English still has the same capability but no one learns the old-fashioned stuff these days, as 150 words of assorted cliches is so much easier, especially if you have to buy something or emit a bit of hate speech.

Cugel, ranting. :-)

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Cugel
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby Cugel » 28 Sep 2019, 6:12pm

PS

Here's an interesting article by Rowan Williams, the ex-Arch of Cant, about Welsh cultural history & attitudes.

https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/bo ... ought-back

In the depths of the article is a reference to a Welsh author, Caradoc Evans, who wrote scurrilous portraits of various West Welsh folk and their doings.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/131 ... UTF8&psc=1

I have sent for one or four of his books, to obtain an alternative view of the Cardies et al from that of mine own view. :-)

Cugel

brynpoeth
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby brynpoeth » 4 Nov 2019, 7:18pm

Have you read the books yet Cugel?
There is another Caradoc from Bethesda, I think I have one of his books. Drank a lot :?
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life "597"

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Cugel
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby Cugel » 4 Nov 2019, 9:54pm

brynpoeth wrote:Have you read the books yet Cugel?
There is another Caradoc from Bethesda, I think I have one of his books. Drank a lot :?


ALthough frantically making various wooden things for Christmas (some with stained glass) and pursuing various other pursuits, I've manged to read Caradoc's "My People" and a good portion of them R S Thomas poems you mentioned. I have to stop myself speaking (or even typing) in Caradoc Ceredigion English-Welsh style, dear me man bach. I would like to quote the odd pithy Thomas thing here too and will when the right thread arises (or I find the right poem of the many, many).

Cugel, Just finished oiling the ladywife's new sewing and dressmaking table.

brynpoeth
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby brynpoeth » 4 Nov 2019, 9:59pm

You wantoners, men of Wales
With your sheep and your pigs and your ponies, your sweaty females.. penning your sheep in a gap of cloud..
RS T
Entertainer, kidult, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we love life "597"

pwa
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby pwa » 5 Nov 2019, 8:38am

I have never bothered with RS Thomas. I've always had him down as a rather gloomy type, and I don't feel drawn to that. Am I wrong about that?

Mike Sales
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby Mike Sales » 5 Nov 2019, 8:41am

pwa wrote:I have never bothered with RS Thomas. I've always had him down as a rather gloomy type, and I don't feel drawn to that. Am I wrong about that?


Cynddylan on a Tractor
Ah, you should see Cynddylan on a tractor.
Gone the old look that yoked him to the soil,
He's a new man now, part of the machine,
His nerves of metal and his blood oil.
The clutch curses, but the gears obey
His least bidding, and lo, he's away
Out of the farmyard, scattering hens.
Riding to work now as a great man should,
He is the knight at arms breaking the fields'
Mirror of silence, emptying the wood
Of foxes and squirrels and bright jays.
The sun comes over the tall trees
Kindling all the hedges, but not for him
Who runs his engine on a different fuel.
And all the birds are singing, bills wide in vain,
As Cynddylan passes proudly up the lane.


R.S. Thomas. Gloomy?

pwa
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby pwa » 5 Nov 2019, 8:53am

Mike Sales wrote:
pwa wrote:I have never bothered with RS Thomas. I've always had him down as a rather gloomy type, and I don't feel drawn to that. Am I wrong about that?


Cynddylan on a Tractor
Ah, you should see Cynddylan on a tractor.
Gone the old look that yoked him to the soil,
He's a new man now, part of the machine,
His nerves of metal and his blood oil.
The clutch curses, but the gears obey
His least bidding, and lo, he's away
Out of the farmyard, scattering hens.
Riding to work now as a great man should,
He is the knight at arms breaking the fields'
Mirror of silence, emptying the wood
Of foxes and squirrels and bright jays.
The sun comes over the tall trees
Kindling all the hedges, but not for him
Who runs his engine on a different fuel.
And all the birds are singing, bills wide in vain,
As Cynddylan passes proudly up the lane.


R.S. Thomas. Gloomy?

Nice. Thanks. Maybe my view was coloured by a TV documentary about him. But you are right about that poem, which reminds me of farmers I have known. In love with their tractors. My Dad was a farm labourer in his youth and he too had a fixation with Massey Fergusons. Totally daft but quite endearing.

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Cugel
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby Cugel » 5 Nov 2019, 12:09pm

pwa wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
pwa wrote:I have never bothered with RS Thomas. I've always had him down as a rather gloomy type, and I don't feel drawn to that. Am I wrong about that?


Cynddylan on a Tractor
Ah, you should see Cynddylan on a tractor.
Gone the old look that yoked him to the soil,
He's a new man now, part of the machine,
His nerves of metal and his blood oil.
The clutch curses, but the gears obey
His least bidding, and lo, he's away
Out of the farmyard, scattering hens.
Riding to work now as a great man should,
He is the knight at arms breaking the fields'
Mirror of silence, emptying the wood
Of foxes and squirrels and bright jays.
The sun comes over the tall trees
Kindling all the hedges, but not for him
Who runs his engine on a different fuel.
And all the birds are singing, bills wide in vain,
As Cynddylan passes proudly up the lane.


R.S. Thomas. Gloomy?

Nice. Thanks. Maybe my view was coloured by a TV documentary about him. But you are right about that poem, which reminds me of farmers I have known. In love with their tractors. My Dad was a farm labourer in his youth and he too had a fixation with Massey Fergusons. Totally daft but quite endearing.


That poem is one of many by RST that is expressing a quiet dismay at how machinery is spoiling lives and environment. RST is not very "obvious" or adamant in expressing this dismay but the theme is prominent in many of his poems.

My first pass through his stuff did bring me to that notion you mention - gloomy and (as the ladywife put it) "an average competency as a poet". However, re-reading does eventually reveal some quite subtle and hidden asides to the more obvious "message" or observation. In some ways the gloom is just a West Welsh recognition that life is always full of difficulties and dangers as well as wonderful moments of pleasurable immersion in a thrilling place throbbing with often queer human histories and personalities of many kinds.

Cugel

pwa
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Re: Cymru am byth - we love Wales!

Postby pwa » 5 Nov 2019, 1:43pm

If RS Thomas was regretting the farmer's joy in his tractor, I think he was missing something. I took my Dad (aged 80+ and eyesight starting to fail) to the Museum of Welsh Life, where he was delighted to find an ancient Massey Ferguson tractor that was like those he used in his youth on a farm in Ireland. He remembered with fondness the wonderful impact that machine had on the lives of farm workers, letting them get their work done with less stress. If he could have hugged that thing he would have done. Perhaps RS Thomas, being a soft handed clergyman, did not understand what it is like to do manual work for a living.