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  1. #1
    Ratio Et Fides Ratio Et Fides is offline

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    Excellent documentry on the founder of Plaid Cmyru; Saunders Lewis the Catholic Warrior Poet.

    Wales gave two brilliant Catholic converts to Western Civilization in the 20 th century; the historian Christopher Dawson, much praised by T.S. Eliot and Russell Kirk, and the founder of the Welsh Nationalist Party- Plaid Cmyru- Saunders Lewis who is probably Wales's greatest poet. Welsh nationalism thanks to him has been significantly more open to influences from outside the Anglo-sphere than Irish Republicanism and until very recently the importance of Christianity to the soul of Wales. He was a deep admirer of Patrick Pearse.

    Last edited by Ratio Et Fides; 2nd April 2016 at 05:30 PM.
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  2. #2
    Ratio Et Fides Ratio Et Fides is offline

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    He was also a Jacobite and a convert from Calvinism which obviously makes him dear to my heart.
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  3. #3
    Ratio Et Fides Ratio Et Fides is offline

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    This wonderful poem about St Dismas is an example of work;

    To the Good Thief

    You did not see Him on the mountain of Transfiguration
    Nor walking the sea at night;
    You never saw corpses blushing when a bier or sepulchre
    Was stuck by his cry.

    It was in the rawness of his flesh and his dirt that you saw Him,
    Whipped and under thorns,
    And in his nailing like a sack of bones outside the town
    On a pole, like a scarecrow.

    You never heard the making of the parables like a Parthenon of words,
    Nor his tone when He talked of his father,
    Neither did you hear the secrets of the room above,
    Nor the prayer before Cedron and the treachery.

    It was in the racket of a crowd of sadists reveling in pain
    And their screeches, howls, curses, and shouts
    That you heard the profound cry of the breaking heart of their prey:
    ‘Why hast thou forsaken me?’

    You, hanging on his right; on his left, your brother;
    Writhing like skinned frogs,
    Flea-bitten petty thieves thrown in as a retinue to his shame,
    Courtiers to a mock king in his pain.

    O master of courtesy and manners, who enlightened you
    About your part in this harsh parody?
    ‘Lord, when you come into your kingdom, remember me,’ –
    The kingdom that was conquered through death.

    Rex Judaeorum; it was you who saw first the vain
    Blasphemy as a living oracle,
    You who first believed in the Latin, Hebrew and Greek,
    That the gallows was the throne of God.

    O thief who took Paradise from the nails of a gibbet,
    Foremost of the noblitas of heaven,
    Before the hour of death pray that it may be given to us
    To perceive Him and to taste Him.
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  4. #4
    Malcolm Redfellow Malcolm Redfellow is offline
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    Like supping with the devil, any (Un)Reasonable and (Un)Faithful post requires stirring with a long spoon.

    There was that previous original post, inviting us to admire a brilliant article by a certain Matt Forney, whose other Greatest Hits (sic) included:

    Saunders Lewis may have been a fair poet (my Welsh isn't up to appreciating any nuances). He was certainly a decent dramatist, and knocked off a couple of novels.

    T.S.Eliot's predictable approval for Lewis's authoritarian tendencies and his strong monarchism should be balanced against David James Davies' contempt for Lewis's supercilious attitude to the working class of Wales. Presumably, too, we should overlook Lewis the confessed arsonist.

    But, as always with (Un)Reasonable and (Un)Faithful there is a further dimension. As so often it is anti-semitism and the urge to raise a straight right arm. Llew Smith, the MP for Blaenau Gwent, was explicit:
    Saunders Lewis, a founding member and former leader [of the Plaid], saw the Jews and the English as enemies, while admiring Hitler and Mussolini. [Interruption.] Of course, the nationalists do not want to hear this. Of Hitler, Saunders Lewis declared:
    At once he fulfilled his promise—a promise which was greatly mocked by the London papers months before that—to completely abolish the financial strength of the Jews in the economic life of Germany.
    The Welsh nationalist attitude to the English is also seen in their opposition to English children being evacuated to Wales to avoid the bombing of their homes during the second world war. They said that that would
    completely submerge and destroy all of Welsh national tradition.
    Saunders Lewis went on to say that the
    movement of population is one of the most horrible threats to the continuation and to the life of the Welsh nation that has ever been suggested in history.
    Somewhere in there Lewis's own removal from Merseyside to Wales got elided.
    Last edited by Malcolm Redfellow; 2nd April 2016 at 08:49 PM.
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  5. #5
    Ratio Et Fides Ratio Et Fides is offline

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    R.S. Thomas the other great Welsh poet of the 20 th century wrote this wonderful poem about him, of course R.S. was so like so many Welsh separatists a staunch pacifist but a sincere, principled one who though a minister in the Anglican Church in Wales came out in support of the arson campaign Meibion Glyndŵr in the 80s and 90s;

    Saunders Lewis.

    And he dared them;
    Dared them to grow old and bitter
    As he. He kept his pen clean
    By burying it in their fat
    Flesh. He was ascetic and Wales
    His diet. He lived off the harsh fare
    Of her troubles, worn yet heady
    At moments with the poets' wine.

    A recluse, then; himself
    His hermitage? Unhabited
    He moved among us; would have led
    To rebellion. Small as he was
    He towered, the trigger of his mind
    Cocked, ready to let fly with his scorn.

    I have Malcom on ignore but no doubt he is using pedantry and the distortion of facts ripped out of context to slander a great man. Sad.
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  6. #6
    Cai Cai is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Redfellow View Post
    Like supping with the devil, any (Un)Reasonable and (Un)Faithful post requires stirring with a long spoon.

    There was that previous original post, inviting us to admire a brilliant article by a certain Matt Forney, whose other Greatest Hits (sic) included:

    Saunders Lewis may have been a fair poet (my Welsh isn't up to appreciating any nuances). He was certainly a decent dramatist, and knocked off a couple of novels.

    T.S.Eliot's predictable approval for Lewis's authoritarian tendencies and his strong monarchism should be balanced against David James Davies' contempt for Lewis's supercilious attitude to the working class of Wales. Presumably, too, we should overlook Lewis the confessed arsonist.

    But, as always with (Un)Reasonable and (Un)Faithful there is a further dimension. As so often it is anti-semitism and the urge to raise a straight right arm. Llew Smith, the MP for Blaenau Gwent, was explicit:

    Somewhere in there Lewis's own removal from Merseyside to Wales got elided.
    The problem with Smith's various claims is that they're largely imaginary. There is no historical evidence for most of them.

    Smith is (was - can't remember if he's still with us) a rabid anti Welsh nationalist - although he's obviously a British nationalist.
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  7. #7
    Ratio Et Fides Ratio Et Fides is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cai View Post
    The problem with Smith's various claims is that they're largely imaginary. There is no historical evidence for most of them.

    Smith is (was - can't remember if he's still with us) a rabid anti Welsh nationalist - although he's obviously a British nationalist.
    I suspect that Malcom was more interested in having a go at me than in making a serious comment about Saunders Lewis's career.

    The thing is though that the most committed patriots can often be the most critical of their people.
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  8. #8
    The Eagle of the Ninth The Eagle of the Ninth is offline

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    Oh Christ, little Nazi Bill having failed to co-opt Irish Nationalism on here - because who needs his input- is now making a pitch for the Welsh ..
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  9. #9
    Malcolm Redfellow Malcolm Redfellow is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratio Et Fides View Post
    I suspect that Malcom was more interested in having a go at me [1] than in making a serious comment about Saunders Lewis's career [2].

    The thing is though that the most committed patriots can often be the most critical of their people. [3]
    [1] Seriously? You flatter yourself.

    [2] I thought your original post invited us to admire probably Wales's greatest poet. I'm not into league tables (except that Norwich City seem to be avoiding the drop), but "better" than ...?
    • George Herbert — I'd have expected (Un)Reasonable and (Un)Faithful to approve, at least on some points?
    • his acquaintance/mate/relative, Henry Vaughan?
    • Idris Davies (Bells of Rhymney)?
    • John Cowper Powys (OK, born in Derbyshire, but as much "Welsh" as Saunders Lewis — and a far superior novelist)?
    • Dylan Thomas?
    • You've acknowledged R.S. Thomas — who was Welsh to the marrow, though a minister in the Anglican Church in Wales:
      Even God had a Welsh name:
      He spoke to him in the old language;
      He was to have a peculiar care
      For the Welsh people. History showed us
      He was too big to be nailed to the wall
      Of a stone chapel, yet still we crammed him
      Between the boards of a black book.
    • Dylan's admired friend, Vernon (christened "John Earthquake" — better believe it) Watkins?

    [3] Too profound for me. Exempify, preferably with reference to your chosen subject.
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  10. #10
    Dr Pat Dr Pat is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Eagle of the Ninth View Post
    Oh Christ, little Nazi Bill having failed to co-opt Irish Nationalism on here - because who needs his input- is now making a pitch for the Welsh ..
    Who is little Nazi Bill and what precisely are you referring to when you make mention of co-opting Irish Nationalism?
    Last edited by Dr Pat; 2nd April 2016 at 08:56 PM.
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