Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Wales Album: Clare Dudman (& the Stars-and-Garters)


I dragged the jet-lagged Dave Bonta
to meet penpal-and-novelist
Clare Dudman at Castell Powis.
Sunny. Lots of glare. Not Welshy weather...
except for the chilliness in the air.

Correspondents meet in the flesh, hurrah!
Lovely, that feeling of already
knowing and being known...


Clare treated me and Dave to a lovely lunch
at Lady Somebody or Other's Tea Shop at Castell Powis.
Lady Hyacinth? Lady Heliotrope?  Lady Bluebell?
With my luck, it was Lady Forget-me-not.

And today I want to give Clare an award,
the coveted Stars-and-Garters of Indefatigability
for outstanding bravery and peristence
in the worthy cause of book-flogging.
In tireless service to her latest book, one year old now,
she did 35 events last year, traveling
around the UK and chatting with
the general populace
(or maybe the not-so-general populace)
about A Place of Meadows and Tall Trees (Seren.)
You ought to buy it, you know...
That would make me happy.
I hope they love her, those fellows at Seren.


Everything at Castell Powis is "wonderfully rich and stately,"
as Diana Wynne Jones once said about a fierce old lady.
Castell Powis is just such an old lady, imperious and also bountiful,
wealthy enough to behave in the way Mother Nature does--
as profuse and indulgent as a sea of bluebells in the Welsh woods.
Here is Clare with a world of wisteria,
that languorous flower.
Just looking at her, I feel all Lady Wisteria-ish,
wistful and droopy and wishing for another tea party in the sun.

10 comments:

  1. Lovely. What great travels you've had!

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  2. Robbi,

    Oh, I forgot that I had this scheduled to go up automatically! Yes, it was a lovely day in Welshpool...

    I am on to make reservations for a poetry conference, so I'll be off again soon.

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  3. Hats off to Clare, to trans-oceanic friendship, to both of you for dragging Dave to a castle tea party, and to that wisteria!

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  4. Beth,

    He definitely added to the entertainment of the day. Especially when he was in the shrubbery...

    Yes, here's to friends near and far, never met and met!

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  5. THANK YOU Marly! Sorry about the shouting, but it's a long way over the Atlantic! I'm so delighted we met at last. It was a great day. I very much enjoyed meeting you both.

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  6. Yes, it is a mighty long way, but one that we all hope that you will traverse, sooner or later.

    Congratulations, 0 Indefatiable One!

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  7. Indeed I shall, I expect and hope - one day!

    And thanks to you too, Beth.

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  8. I am going to have to pop in on Clare's site and give her a visit. That castle real beautiful and shapely. I love how you described it.

    I like how you are posting your pics in the boxes.

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  9. Clare, yes!

    Susannah,

    Clare is fun to visit. She roars through an awful lot of books and posts about most of them.

    Oh, good--I've just been fooling around with some new Blogger features. It's more like an album that way.

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  10. Oh. Dear.

    Please insert a "g" in "Indefatiable." That sounds like a diet problem.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.