Friday Poem – ‘Beware Welsh Learners’ by Katherine Stansfield


This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Beware Welsh Learners’ by Katherine Stansfield from her collection We Could Be Anywhere By Now.

This cover shows a painting of a woman looking out at an abstract landscape.

In her second collection, We Could Be Anywhere by Now, Katherine Stansfield brings us poems about placement and displacement full of both wry comedy and uneasy tension. Stints in Wales, Italy and Canada, plus return trips to her native Cornwall all spark poems delighting in the off-key, the overheard, the comedy and pathos of everyday life.

‘multi-layered and full of surprising transitions’ – Patrick McGuiness

Beware Welsh learners
Welsh learners are self-obsessed.
Everything is I with them.
Welsh learners are amnesiacs.
They forget the past in the classroom’s constant present.
They can’t commit to the future.
Welsh learners are liars.
They claim they work as civil servants, as teachers.
They say they work for Swalec.
They have exams in these falsehoods.
Welsh learners are cunning.
They ask how you are but they don’t really care.
They only want you for your vowels.
Welsh learners make poor friends.
They invite you for coffee and when you confide
you’ve been fired, that your wife left you and the doctors
think it’s cancer, all they do is smile, nod and say
bore da, and then, bore da bore da, again.

We Could Be Anywhere By Now is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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