Cyfrolau | Published Work


Perffaith Nam

Cusan Dyn Dall | Blind Man's Kiss

Cyhoeddir gan Bloodaxe Books
ISBN: 1 85224 544 1

Hudolus yw'r ansoddair cyntaf sy'n dod i'r meddwl wrth fynd ati i geisio disgrifio 'r gyfrol diweddaraf hon gan Menna Elfyn. Nid yn unig mae angen cydnabod fod Cusan Dyn Dall/Blind Man's Kiss yn un o 'r cyfrolau gorau o farddoniaeth i gael ei chyhoeddi yn y flwyddyn 2001,hyd yma ,ond dylid hefyd canmol y ffaith fod Menna Elfyn wedi dangos ei bod yn eangfrydig a'i bod yn fardd sydd yn ceisio ac yn llwyddo i gyfleu barddoniaeth Gymraeg i weddill Prydain, ac,yn wir, i'r Unol Daleithiau a'r tu hwnt.

Aneirin Karadog [Barddas]

Since her fourth collection of poetry, Eucalyptus, was published in 1995, in a bilingual edition (Gomer Press), Menna Elfyn's poetic career has taken her increasingly further afield. Her second bilingual collection, Cell Angel (Bloodaxe, 1996), was described as the most significant collection of Welsh poetry for forty years, and Menna Elfyn herself hailed as 'the first Welsh poet in fifteen hundred years to make a serious attempt to have her work known outside Wales.'

Parallel English translations undoubtedly facilitate the movement of her work across cultural borders, but it is also the intriguing mixture of boldness, both political and linguistic, and her wide points of reference, which attracts readers to her work. Typically, in Cusan Dyn Dall / Blind Man's Kiss, her poems move between scenes as varied as Vietnamese tunnels where flies have eyes 'discharging desolation', ironic takes on English prejudice towards Wales ('Preiddiau'r Cymry / 'Sheep, People and Wales'), and intimate love trysts.

In this volume more than ever, Menna Elfyn excites our interest through flying by the seat of her panties. Her strength as a writer has always derived from her daring. At her best, she is an adventurer, in language as in experience, feeling her way forward into, and through words.

M Wynn Thomas [New Welsh Review]

Menna Elfyn does not take easy linguistic options and it is often the struggle between uncomfortable clauses and images, and even between the parallel bilingual texts which drive her work, like the 'Handkerchief Kiss': ...The lyric / translated is like kissing / through a hanky, said the bard. / As for me, I hug those poems between pages / that bring back the word-lovers. / Let the poem carry a handkerchief / and leave on my lip / its veiled kiss.

She is an exciting and thought -provoking poet; her work displays a voracious appetite for a range of subjects and experiences, is in attitude and image, richly sensuous and equally rich in ideas.Whether she is writing of Vietnam or rural Wales, childhood memories... or the purchase of a new pair of slippers, her mind and senses are always fully engaged, her invention constant without ever merely being clever. This is an outstanding volume which I cannot recommend too highly.

Glyn Pursgrove [Acumen]

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