The Focus



Turning is a collection of twenty-two poems that reflects on the urge to migrate and explore, how that urge was expressed in my own family and life, and how it relates to a sense of place and belonging.

Apart from the opening poem, the poems are arranged chronologically, and begin with two glimpses of nineteenth century ancestors, one imaginary, the other historical. In the twentieth century poems, the immediate members of my family are introduced, and many of the poems of the second half refer to my own early life. In all of them there is an attempt to capture some of the characteristics of Welshness, and the influence of my cultural and genetic heritage on my own life and work.

In addition to presenting the history of the Welsh side of my family, the poems reflect on nationality and diaspora in general, and the nature of the longing for home and belonging. The Welsh word hiraeth is never far from the surface.

Finally there is an attempt to point to a deeper understanding of the these urges and feelings, that what is felt as a desire for something outside of us, a hole to be filled by addition, whether of place or person or something more abstract, is in fact the longing to return to an unfettered state of being, for which no action is required.



Return to home page.