Rhea Seren Phillips: Worrying Sheep

Note to the Reader

My poems have been informed by poets who have used characteristics of the Welsh metrical tradition in English to explore a Welsh cultural identity. The strictness of cynghanedd varies throughout the collection. This represents a diverse modern Wales. Cynghanedd is an oral tradition and is often read aloud to an audience. I wanted to experiment with that tradition by sign posting where stressed, Welsh nasal mutations and soft syllables appear in the poems. I do this through capital letters, phonetics spelling of words, and the use of subscript to indicate unstressed words and superscript to indicate stressed words.

The collection from which this section has been taken has been split into three components: poetry and footnotes. This is intended to embody characteristics of cynghanedd. A line of cynghanedd has similarities to music and should be read in more than one direction. The footnotes often run onto consecutive pages. I have made the decision to keep the main page blank to avoid readers confusing footnotes with the wrong poem. Readers should read the poem, followed by the footnotes and then back to the consecutive poem. The use of footnotes is intended to encourage readers to look at the collection as a piece of music. This becomes an echo chamber that can be felt throughout the collection.


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Rhea Seren Phillips is a PhD student at Swansea University (2016-2020). She is researching how the Welsh metrical tradition in English could be used to reconsider a modern Welsh cultural identity. Her poetry has appeared in Molly Bloom, Tears in the Fence, Edge of Necessary: Welsh Innovative Poetry 1966-2018 (Boiled String and Aquifer Press), Poetry Wales, Parallel Cymru, Envoi, The Lonely Crowd, The Luxembourg Review, Black Bough among others. Rhea runs a website dedicated to the promotion of the Welsh metrical tradition in English (https://grandiloquentwretch.wordpress.com/).



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