Dales Dialect Verse. Roger Nelson. £5.95 + £2.80 p&p
Readers of the YDS Summer Bulletin will be familiar with Roger Nelson’s poetry and with his distinctive style of writing. This collection of more than fifty of his poems on a wide variety of subjects reveals the versatility of his metrical forms and his masterly command of the dialect of the area in which he was born and still lives – the border between the old West and North Ridings. His work includes an unusually rich diversity of dialect words and idioms, all deployed with the assurance and accuracy of a native speaker. Although he travelled to some of the remotest parts of the world during his professional career as a veterinary surgeon, his poetry is deeply rooted in his local and family heritage. His shrewd and sharp-eyed observation of nature and human life and of their interaction is central to his writing in ways which are both thought-provoking but also tempered by a characteristic optimism and wry humour. The collection reflects the author’s sense of place, of belonging, his awareness of the transience of life, and his admiration of the honest, hardworking countryman and woman, whose “Fewest needs breed modest content”. The book is illustrated throughout with his evocative drawings, and includes a helpful introduction and a glossary.
Clare Ellin: The Wise Woman of Kilnwick. Frank McGarry. £12.50 + £2.80 p&p
This book skilfully interweaves a fascinating account of the East Yorkshire writer Clare Ellin’s life with a generous themed selection of her poems, including several in dialect. A former member of the Yorkshire Dialect Society, which has published a number of her poems, Clare Ellin was a keen and sympathetic observer of people and of the natural world in her birthplace, Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, and especially in Kilnwick (“Killick”) where she lived from 1956 until 1984. Frank McGarry’s interest in Clare Ellin was sparked by the gift of one of her poems, “The Ha-ha, Kilnwick” which gave details of a low wall which originally formed part of the Kilnwick Hall estate but is now part of the front garden of his house. This set him on a quest to discover more about Clare and her life and work, which in due course led to the writing of this fascinating book which is an affectionate and well researched account of her many attributes and achievements. Illustrated with drawings, some by Clare herself, and by photographs, many in colour, the book offers valuable insights into local rural life, and also pays tribute to the observational and poetic skills of this remarkable and sensitive writer.
Order from: Hon. Librarian, YDS, Spring Hill, Woodside, Edale, Hope Valley S33 7ZB.
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