Time, which hath an art to make dust of all things, hath yet spared these minor monuments.
Sir Thomas Browne, Hydriotaphia
Minor Monuments is a collection of poems inspired by the district of Ardudwy in North Wales, the works of Sir Thomas Browne and the Welsh mythologies of the Mabinogion. There are four parts, each introduced by an illustration by Luke Sewell (who also provided the cover illustration):
- Ardudwy: a sequence of poems which form a North-to-South journey through the coastal lands and hills of Ardudwy in North Wales, responding to places of personal or family significance. The poems are permeated by the presence of my father who grew up in, and later retired to, Barmouth.
- The Major Works: I first encountered the works of the seventeenth century doctor and writer Sir Thomas Browne when I was an undergraduate student of archaeology. I read them in the Penguin edition of ‘The Major Works’ and over the years have kept coming back to them. Each poem in this section starts from, or responds to, one of Sir Thomas Browne’s works.
- Small Finds: A miscellany of poems which takes its title from the archaeological term for items other than pottery found in the course of an excavation.
- The Discourses of the Severed Head: At the end of the Welsh myth Branwen daughter of Llyr the hero Brân is wounded with a poisoned spear. He commands his followers to cut off his still-living head and bury it in London to protect Britain from plague and invasion. The ‘Discourses’ follows Brân’s head as it uncovered in the 21st century and the mythic hero attempts to make sense of modern Britain.
You can download a preview of Minor Monuments which contains seven of the poems.
On-line is great, but direct sales, from me to you without the middleman, mean I get substantially more of the sale price. I am happy to ship copies to anywhere in the UK for £7.99 (that includes P&P).
If you don’t want to use PayPal, get in touch and I can give you the necessary bank details.
If you live in or near Newcastle-upon-Tyne I might even be able to deliver a copy in person.