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Perffaith Nam / Perfect Blemish

Perffaith Nam / Perfect Blemish

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Menna Elfyn is the best-known, most travelled and most translated of all Welsh-language poets. The extraordinary international range of her subjects, breathtaking inventiveness and generosity of vision place her among Europe's leading poets.

This bilingual edition of her later poetry includes all her work from Cell Angel (1996) and Blind Man's Kiss / Cusan Dyn Dall (2001), as well as the first English translations of Perffaith Nam (2005) and a selection of new poems. The Welsh originals in this book have facing English translations by Elin ap Hywel, Joseph Clancy, Gillian Clarke, Tony Conran, Nigel Jenkins and Robert Minhinnick.

"These poems engage as deeply as ever with Menna Elfyn's treasured themes of possession and dispossession, the terrible vulnerability of those things which are precious and her joyously affirmative, inclusive views on how they may be protected. Her characteristic concern for humanity everywhere and her loving but uncompromising view of the conundrums of women's lives are framed here in a more reflective vein, but with her characteristic humour and sideways wit. She is a witty, gentle, compassionate gatekeeper between Wales and the wider world, her work as a poet constantly explaining, excusing and extolling each to the other."
Elin ap Hywel

"Menna Elfyn is the firebird of the Welsh language, bright, indomitably modern and as undestructible as the phoenix. She gives hope to all writers in lesser spoken languages that great things can rise from the ashes."
Nuala NÌ Dhomhnaill

"Elfyn is a poet of healingÖ both compassionate and celebratory. Like a soul doctor she questions and probes, like St Teresa she endures the darkness, but in the end she sings a song which affirms that flawed humanity is indeed perfectible."
Katie Gramich, Planet

"Liberation and enclosure are powerful themes in Menna Elfyn's work. She is a political poet, writing with passion of the Welsh language and identity for which she campaigns. But she makes her claims with realismÖ a restless, intensely responsive imagination."
Helen Dunmore, Observer