by Gillian Clarke
(‘blodau’: flowers: Welsh)
Blodeuwedd is a character from the British (Welsh) mythology called The Mabinogion. Lleu needed a wife, and Blodeuwedd was created for him out of flowers by a wizard called Gwydion. According to the myth the flowers were yellow broom, meadow sweet and oak blossom. After a period of contentment Blodeuwedd fell in love with another man. They plotted to kill Lleu. Gwydion punished her by turning her into an owl, condemned to the night without human company or the company of birds.
Hendre is a farmhouse in mountains close to the sea in Gwynedd, North Wales, where I was staying with two woman friends. A colony of barn owls lived in an old building close to the farm. We couldn’t help thinking about Blodeuwedd as we heard the owls calling.