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 For PN Review subscribers: access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue New poems by Ange Mlinko Sean O'Brien on Graves, Myth and European War Rebecca Hurst maps the woods Richard Gwyn considers Borders and Crossings Frederic Raphael listens to the Silent Conversations of Anthony Rudolf

This report is taken from PN Review 161, Volume 31 Number 3, January - February 2005.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

Radio reports today prominently feature a Home Office initiative to counter anti-social behaviour. The citizens of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport are among those to be singled out for special attention. The pleas of victims will be heeded and uncouth louts, graffiti artists and bad neighbours will be purged. Or at least ASBOs will be applied. It is a real enough cause: parts of our towns and villages are befouled, dreary and, sometimes, menacing. Any amelioration of the condition of the communities worst affected will be a godsend. Besides, politicians are always desperate to be seen to be doing something vaguely within their grasp, and never more so than when they face intractable problems elsewhere. The majority of chief constables in Wales may disagree with the plans they are to implement, but the politicians are determined, conveniently forgetting that they are responsible for creating the heartless estates where most of the problems occur.

This news has intensified my brooding upon the lost past, my boyhood in Gilfach Goch. Perhaps it is the time of year that induces melancholy reflection upon change and the state of society. How unsophisticated we were, and how enormously fortunate. Because of the way houses were strung in terraces along the valley slopes, a little above the industrial heart and purpose of the village, few were more than a hundred yards or so from the open mountain. For most of us, the mountain began at the back garden gate. That was the domain of ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image