A fantastic poem by the fantastic Kate Garrett. Of course, you’ll want to go see more here: http://www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk/.
The names of things unseen
by Kate Garrett
You discover new spots on our adventures:
Abergele, Deganwy, Prestatyn, Colwyn Bay,
Betws-y-Coed, Llandudno Pier, Conwy Castle.
You and your brothers – pirates and knights –
duelling, peering into dungeons, or racing
to the edge of the jellyfish-dotted sea.
You pack your bag, almost overflowing:
a boomerang, a hacky sack, a water gun
shaped like a shark, an eye-patch and wooden swords,
bunched into place with books, knitting,
paper, pens (for the rainy days),
and a candle, painted in wax with your name.
Your friends teach you bits of an ancient tongue:
trenau, gwylan, “pen, ysgwyddau, coesau, traed,”*
then you explore my dictionary to find
the names of things unseen, but read, and dreamed –
tylwyth teg, môr-forwyn, coblyn, draig** –
wrap words like cowry shells to take back home.
*train, seagull, “head, shoulders, knees, toes” (Welsh)
**fairy, mermaid, goblin…
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