St David’s Day. Ah, where can we go from here?
David…whose popularity in Wales is shown by the Armes Prydein, a popular poem which prophesied that in the future, when all might seem lost, the Cymry (Welsh people) would unite behind the standard of David to defeat the English. So maybe could write a poem about nationalism.. or something of the sort. Here’s ‘Blues’ by Derek Walcott: http://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/blues
Or maybe we could think about David’s life and teachings which have inspired a choral work by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, Dewi Sant, and an oratorio by another Welsh composer, Arwel Hughes, also entitled Dewi Sant. And in this Dylan Thomas poem the original version had line 17 reading “But for St David, his arms” http://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/my-craft-or-sullen-art.
No it didn’t, I made that up.
On the other hand we could go with his association with corpse candles, lights that warn of the imminent death of a member of the community. The story goes that David prayed for his people to have some warning of their death, so that they could prepare themselves. Here’s a poem about candles for the dead by Bernard O’Donoghue: http://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/candle-dolly-duggan
So there you have it – St David’s Day. Nationalism, inspiration, candles. What does it mean to you – if anything?