Hen Ieithoedd Diflanedig

Speakers of twenty lost or disappearing languages are brought back to life in the latest volume of poetry from Mihangel Morgan. From European languages such as Livonian, Dalmatian or the Jewish-Occitanian Shadit, to Indo-Portuguese Creole in Asia and to the native languages of Australia and of the Americas from Alaska to Mexico, as well as to reviving tongues such as Cornish and Manx, each of the poems gives voice to the historically attested last known speakers or to those who recorded their speech. Turning the focus from the languages themselves to these re-imagined individuals, his characteristically light touch softening the sharpness of the underlying message, the author creates a series of vivid, quirky portraits, drawing the reader into their lost worlds in a series of warm, accessible poems, full of humour, irony and empathy.

The subjects are no fossils but strong, individual personalities who address the reader directly, each with their own thoughts and memories, joys, despairs or grudges. Each poem becomes a short fiction in its own right, building to a chorus of memorable narrative voices, echoing the rich variety of the languages themselves and the cultures they inhabited. Each is nonetheless tinged with the poet’s own Welsh accent, for each voice is a reminder of his own fragile language.

Reviews

  • Mihangel Morgan explores minority languages and the fragility of their existence. Profound ...with flashes of his distinctive playfulness.

    Annes Glyn, Gwales.com

Mihangel Morgan

M00o93H7pQ09L8X1t49cHY01Z5j4TT91fGfr

Read about the author...

Publication details:

Hen Ieithoedd Diflanedig
Barddas (2018)

64pp