A brilliant and canny poet of love.
Unless She Beckons
Poems of Dafydd ap Gwilym
Paul Merchant and Michael Faletra
The greatest poet of medieval Wales.
A brilliant and canny poet of love, Dafydd ap Gwilym explores the intensity of erotic desire: its deep seriousness as well as its deep comedy. Although distant in time and circumstance, Dafydd’s work confronts us with a virtuosic strangeness, a directness, and a sense of lived realness. In his poems, he lingers outside a village, loiters in the woods waiting for a tryst that never happens, peers through a window, stumbles in the dark. Despite the centuries and the technological gulfs that separate us, Dafydd’s world is also our world, and his poems, like the best of all poetry, surprisingly modern. With a voice coy, confident, and continually alluring, his poetry beckons and endures.
MARY SZYBIST, National Book Award winner, on “The Mist”
When the speaker can no longer physically move forward toward consummation with his beloved, a space is created in which the imagination runs loose. The language itself becomes a kind of mist: one astonishing metaphor after another comes rushing at us.
—The Writer’s Notebook II (Tin House Books 2012)