“The ear is important”, said the tutor – several times.
“You hear the stressed vowel”; the hearing, always the hearing.
And so, although we bent our knees, to feel the stress
and recognise the penult, the epiphany came to me,
like unexpected rain on a sunny day – to thwart my poetic ambitions.
I’d reconciled, somewhat, with the idea that
I will probably lose most of my hearing.
“I’ll write” I said – in my silent bubble.
But the ear is important, in order to hear the stress,
and hear it, not imagine it; the hearing, always the hearing.
But can’t I hear the words in my head? Fair question, but
the shape and feel of the words flow through the memory
like the faces of those who have since departed –
when we don’t have photographs to remind us;
little by little, they fade into nothingness.
If I was already set at cynganeddu, and familiar with forming
a rich vocabulary within this framework of poetry, I could
possibly create my own system – a coping strategy.
But I am just beginning, with my patchy glossary of
dialectical, non-standard, and un-eisteddfod-like terms.
Learning new words is increasingly difficult for me,
as my understanding of pronunciation fades;
how the words should sound, and so which words
I can couple and echo them with. This is of course,
a great shame and disadvantageous.
But there is always an opportunity, in every hopeless situation –
it’s essential to believe that, or else lose
strength and motivation entirely. I’ll commit to learning
a new vocabulary, a scholarly dialect,
and learn to embody the words, in a way which will enable me
to set them within the complex framework of special poetry.