Gillian Clarke writes poem to mark John Lewis’ third anniversary in Cardiff

October 19, 2012 No Comments »

National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke, next to her poem “Home” at John Lewis in Cardiff city centre.

The National Poet of Wales has written a poem especially for John Lewis in Cardiff to mark its third anniversary.

Cardiff-born Gillian Clarke wrote a poem on the theme of home that has been made into a two-metre-high transfer to adorn the window of the department store on The Hayes.

Clarke said: “I had the idea of seeing poetry engraved into the beautifully large windows of John Lewis in Cardiff.

“When I suggested it, they seemed as keen on the idea as I was, especially as their third year anniversary was coming up.

“Unfortunately, engraving the poem directly onto the window was not possible, but a large transfer is the next best thing.

“I love rooms, and spaces and light. I tried to write simply enough to catch a passing reader. I didn’t want to write about luxury, but about the simple pleasures of everyday objects, such as a chair, a rug, a lamp, a radio and a good book.”

Gillian has been national poet for Wales since 2008 and her work is widely studied for GCSE and A-Level.

In 2010, she was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and she won the Wilfred Owen Award in 2012. Her latest collection, Ice, has just been published by Carcanet Press.

Chris Earnshaw, managing director of John Lewis Cardiff, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Gillian Clarke has composed a poem to mark our third anniversary. It is an honour and we are very excited to be able to share it with the shoppers of Cardiff.”

By Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales, ‘HOME’

Evening, home after hours away,
I catch my room out, dreaming,
in a doze at the end of the day,
surprised by blue dusk at the window,
white cups and dishes gleaming,
my chair, my rug, electricity’s glow.
This room and I want music, lamplight,
a good book, fresh tea steaming.
Across the evening city home is waking,
in semis, terraced streets, estates,
in quiet suburbs, silence breaking
with TV, kettles, radio,
as one by one the windows light
till every tower-block’s an Advent calendar,
countdown to winter and the longest night.

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