Friday, 18 April 2014

How green is my valley...

"The Reverend Eli Jenkins, in Bethesda House, gropes out of bed into his preacher's black, combs back his bard's white hair, forgets to wash, pads barefoot downstairs, opens the front door, stands in the doorway and, looking out at the day and up at the eternal hill, and hearing the sea break and the gab of birds, remembers his own verses and tells them softly to empty Coronation Street that is rising and raising its blinds."


Dear Gwalia! I know there are
Towns lovelier than ours,
And fairer hills and loftier far,
And groves more full of flowers,

And boskier woods more blithe with spring
And bright with birds' adorning,
And sweeter bards than I to sing
Their praise this beauteous morning.

Dylan Thomas. Under Milk Wood

As the sun rises over the little green valley on Good Friday morn, Mrs Evans shoos old Dai out the door to gather flowers from his patch to adorn the pew-side baskets in the little chapel by the wood. She bends and straightens and before she hangs the bed sheets out to dry she waves at her neighbour, Widow Jones across the way.

“Good morning Mrs Jones!” she shouts, for the old dear is as deaf as a post. Hearing the sound Mrs Jones looks up, bent backed from weeding her path and begs a repeat. And so the morning starts. (If you can read it in a Welsh accent then all the better.) 

JONES: Sorry love, you’ll ‘ave to speak up a bit.
EVANS: I said good morning!
JONES: Oh yes, good morning, lovely.
EVANS: You going to the chapel, Sunday?
EVANS: I said, are going the chapel? Easter Sunday?
JONES: Pardon?
EVANS: It’s Easter, love. You going to chapel?
JONES: Oh yes, of course. I never miss.
EVANS: Reverend Jenkins it is.
EVANS: I said it’s the Reverend Jenkins
JONES: Sorry?
EVANS: Reverend Jenkins doing the service see.
JONES: Which one’s that?
EVANS: Tall. White hair.
EVANS: He’s the tall one, love. With the white hair.
JONES: Pardon?
EVANS: Very tall. (She gestures) Snow white hair.
JONES: Oh? I can’t quite place ‘im, now.
EVANS: You’ll know him though.
EVANS: He has a very loud voice
JONES: Pardon?
EVANS: Shouts a lot!
JONES: Sorry, love?
EVANS: I said, he shouts. A lot!
JONES: I didn’t quite catch …
EVANS: (at the top of her voice) BAWLS LIKE A BLOODY BULL!!

Green hill... not far away

Widow Jones, startled at the suddenly heightened volume and ferocity of the response, looks back at Mrs Evans and considers her reply. After a few moments she replies, cautiously, “Has he, now?”

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