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The cover image shows a photograph of Thomas Meredith wearing a white shirt (and the letter T above his head) with Derek’s grandfather David Daniel (marked D), and his other brothers Ivor and Rhys (marked with small dots) when they were members of the same football team.
When Derek inherited his great-uncle, Thomas Meredith’s handwritten poems, he set about transcribing them and collating them into a book, alongside family photos and a Foreword and Afterword putting the poems in context.
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Thomas (Tom) Meredith (1887-1962) was a miner, Councillor and JP in Aberdare in South Wales. He was also a poet who, in the words of the Clerk to the Governors at Aberdare’s Education Office, had seen the “vision splendid”.
Descended from a long line of boatmen and miners, Tom wrote about the ever-changing political, social and industrial landscape of twentieth-century Wales, directing his piercing gaze at the many injustices and inequalities of his time. He also wrote about the bonds of family and his love of nature.
Transcribed from his handwritten notebooks by his great-nephew, Derek Joseph, these poems serve not only as an intimate record of a man in the centre of his family, but also speak to the world at large about a time, the reverberations of which can still be heard in the Wales of today.
“By discovering and publishing the poetry of his late great-uncle Tom Meredith, Derek Joseph has given us a work of insightful observation and remarkable lyricism … ‘The Land of Bard and Song’ reflects and captures what working class communities in Wales went through during those turbulent decades of the 1920s and 1930s, as Tom Meredith gives poetic voice to their hopes, their fears, their tragedy and their joy.” Stephen Kinnock, MP
“… a rare insight into a period of Wales long gone by …” Jonathan Morris, Welsh Artist
“How lucky that Derek saw more than just inherited ‘words’ and now shares poetry as relevant today as it was back in the day.” Nellie Williams, Welsh History & Culture Ambassador