Gillian Clark And The Subject Matter Of Her Poetry Gillian Clarke is obviously a poet of her locality – Wales, and she also writes in her poems of what it’s like to be a woman. In this essay I intend to show whether or not her awareness of this affects the subject matter of her poetry. Gillian Clarke being a woman might affect the subject matter of her poetry, because in the poem: Letter from a far country, Gillian Clarke undoubtedly uses the idea of what its like to be a woman to get her point across. She says in her poem that basically women do great things but these are not always appreciated my males, because men do not see these tasks as being great. Clarke for instance obviously believes that the tasks she does at home are extremely important.
I move in and of the hive all day, harvesting, ordering. Clarke obviously believes she brings order to a mess in her household, which is in her eyes a important task which is not always appreciated by men. Gillian Clarke being a woman might not affect the subject matter of her poetry because in the majority of her other poems she does not mention the theme of women. Indeed, except for Letter from a far country, and a slight theme which I feel significant in East Moors, Gillian Clarke does not mention the theme of women. So therefore one could say that Clarke being a woman does not overly affect the subject matter of her poetry.
Gillian Clarke being Welsh may have a dramatic impact on the subject matter of her poetry. One example could basically be the title Miracle on St David’s Day. Now I see this title as being significant because if Gillian Clarke was English she would not have written a poem entitled miracle on St David’s Day. Also, Clarke’s being Welsh might affect the subject matter of her poems because, in East Moors, she writes about how a steel works has shut down and how it has affected the community and how many people have lossed their jobs. For instance it is obvious that unemployment will be quite high, Clarke mentions Lethargy settles in front rooms and wives have lined up little jobs for men to do.
Boredom is obviously a major problem after the community’s biggest employer closed down and women have prepared tasks for the men. If Gillian Clarke was not Welsh she would not have written a poem of this nature. However one may argue that, Gillian Clarke being Welsh does not have a significance on the way she has written her poems. People could say that Gillian Clarke in fact only wrote East Moors, because it had a strong impact on her community, and if she had been say for instance a Newcastle native and a similar community tragedy had occurred she would also have written of it. Also if you think about it Gillian Clarke does not mention the fact that she is Welsh in the majority of her poems.
However someone could say that although she does not use the theme of Wales in the majority of her poems she still uses some Welsh Language in them. For instance in Last Rites, where she writes of a young man being killed in a road accident, even though she does not say she is Welsh in the poem, she uses the word cariad, which shows that she being Welsh has a significance on her poetry. On conclusion, I would have to say that Gillian Clarke being Welsh and being a woman does have an affect on the subject matter of her poetry because in her most significant poems she uses the fact that she is a woman and that she is Welsh. If Gillian Clarke did not emphasise the fact that she is a woman then she would not have been able to write Letter from a far country, and if she was not emphasising the fact that she was Welsh she would not have written East Moors, or Miracle on St David’s Day, which uses imagery of daffodils (the Welsh emblem) to the same affect.