PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions Specialising in large archives and delivering content across platforms, Exact Editions offers the most diverse and broadly accessible content available for libraries and businesses by working with hundreds of publishers to bring valuable historical and current publications to life on web, iOS and Android platforms. read more
Most Read... Daniel Kaneon Ted Berrigan
(PN Review 169)
David Herdin Conversation with John Ashbery
(PN Review 99)
Henry Kingon Geoffrey Hill's Oraclau/Oracles
(PN Review 199)
Dannie Abse'In Highgate Woods' and Other Poems
(PN Review 209)
Sasha DugdaleJoy
(PN Review 227)
Matías Serra Bradfordinterviews Roger Langley The Long Question of Poetry: A Quiz for R.F. Langley
(PN Review 199)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Litro Magazine
The Poetry Society
Next Issue Alex Wylie sponsors the Secular Games Emma Wilson quizzes Carol Mavor Anna Jackson's Dear Reader Freddie Raphael's Dear Lord Byron David Herd on Poetry and Deportation

This report is taken from PN Review 128, Volume 25 Number 6, July - August 1999.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

It may not be well known that, while the English and our fellow Celts on these islands (and, for all I know, people everywhere fallen under the insidious spell of greetings card manufacturers) have only St Valentine's Day, the Welsh command two opportunities each year to declare their passion, secret or otherwise, for another. We also have as a patron saint of lovers, St Dwynwen. On her feast-day, 25 January, we can do all the silly things that commercial interests expect the smitten to do, like sending chocolates and flowers, and witty messages through the post or the press. For knowledge of her we are indebted to Iolo Morganwg, of whom I have written previously as the inventor of the Gorsedd of Bards and all-round reliable witness. He says Dwynwen, daughter of Brychan, the king alleged to have given his name to Brycheiniog (Breconshire), was too hotly propositioned by her beloved, Maelon. Her prayer to God to save her from what might have been a fifth century case of 'date rape' was duly answered. In a dream, God gave her a drink that quelled her passion and turned the unfortunate Maelon into a block of ice. To confuse the issue, Dwynwen was then granted three wishes. The first she used to revive Maelon, the second to become patron saint of lovers, and the third to remain ever unmarried. This is only slightly dafter than the story associated with St Valentine, though chaste singlehood is preferable to martyrdom at a ...
Searching, please wait... animated waiting image