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Alberta Clipper 10/14/2014: “A Visit to Laugharne” by Rose Rosberg

On October 14, 1913, Senghenydd, Wales witnessed a horrifying mining disaster. A terrible explosion from inside the local coal pits killed 439 miners and one rescuer, making the Senghenydd Colliery Disaster the worst coal mine explosion in the history of the United Kingdom. Coal mining was an early and long-lasting major source of income in Wales, and evidence of mining in the area dates back to the 14th century.

In 1963, Prairie Schooner published a section featuring Welsh poetry in the fall issue. This section explored the rhythm and different sounds represented within Welsh bardic writing forms. The fall of 1963 was a particularly warm one for Lincoln, NE, with 94 percent of the days in October reaching higher-than-average temperatures. This particular fall was not only blistering hot, but October had the clearest skies of the entire year. –Clarissa Siegel-Causey

Rose Rosberg
A Visit to Laugharne

I discovered Dylan’s lane
    of quaint houses sleeping in their nest
        of deceptive peace;

I heard, in turn, after my climb
    the wry counterpoint of those time-
        slanted headstones

which peered through disheveled grass
    down at his sea, a silver-shot mist
        withdrawn from its sands;

curlews fluttered, lost, with a keening
    constant and thin, their clamor high-
        pitched like that of ghosts

above the beach, now idle
    silence waiting on the tide’s clock
        for its lover’s return.

How those cries strained to touch
    the far here—I know too
        how quietness flows

to reach for storm with the blind
    fingers of those curlews’ calls
        over the widowed sands.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Fall 1963)



The Alberta Clipper is a biweekly gust of history—brushing the dust off of a poem from our archives and situating it in the current events and local Nebraskan weather reports of days gone by. Explore the Alberta Clipper archives here.

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