Gerald of Wales (1145-1223)
My versions of three stories Gerald tells in ‘The Journey through Wales’. These are published in ‘A Presentment of Englishry’ (Shearsman 2019)
Gerald of Wales, or Gerald the Welshman (1145-1223), is one of the more fascinating characters of the twelfth century. A highly-educated, nobly born cleric, he made a career out of annoying people. He lectured Kings and Prelates undeterred by the fact they weren’t listening to him and he was witty, curious and an insatiable collector of stories. His ‘The Journey through Wales’, written in Latin Prose, can be read for pleasure, partly because Gerald takes breaks from telling the reader how brilliant he is, and how wrong everyone else is, to tell stories like these.
The first ‘The scene of sorrows’ is a brutal miny tragedy, the second baffling, the third quietly humorous. They are curious artefacts from the past, to turn over and consider.
These poems first appeared as ‘Three Poems by Gerlad of Wales’ in a translation special edition of ‘The High Window’.