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This report is taken from PN Review 223, Volume 41 Number 5, May - June 2015.

Anne Cluysenaar 1936–2014 Peter Davidson
The poet Anne Cluysenaar, who died with tragic suddenness on the 1st of November last year, was born into a deeply cultured and international European family. For the last decades of her life, she settled near Llantrisant in the Usk valley and found there a landscape in which to live and write. In the words of her friend and elegist, Susan Bassnett,   

When she finally moved to Wales she seemed to have found her ideal place, both spiritually and physically. Out in the countryside, at Little Wentwood Farm, she could ride her horse, feed her chickens and look after her sheep; she could sit and write in the little wooden house that her devoted husband of 39 years, Walt, had created for her, looking down the valley to Usk and the gleam of the sea beyond on a clear day.

She had been born in Brussels on 15 March, 1936, into a long-established family of artists and architects, successful practitioners standing high in their professions, including the nineteenth-century Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar, who designed the Galeries Royales S. Hubert in Brussels. Her family were from the Low Countries, but with a continual admixture of Scottish blood over the generations, including a distant connection to the Gordons and thus to Lord Byron. With a European background of such cultivation, it was unsurprising that she should grow to be a poet and scholar.

But displacement, initially her family’s move to Britain in the late 1930s, and on to Ireland in the early 1950s, proved as essential ...

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