Dylan’s Great Poem

Dylan’s Great Poem was Developing Dylan 100’s international online event to help award-winning poets Owen Sheers and Mari George create a 100-line bilingual epic written by the young people of the world. Anyone aged 7-25 was eligible to submit up to four lines of poetry, each up to eight words long, on the theme of ‘Remember’. Contributions to Dylan’s Great Poem were submitted on National Poetry Day, Thursday 2 October 2014. 

This Winter, When We Light the Fire.

Do you remember the cold winter nights,
the snowstorms of winter?
Remember the snow that happened a year ago?
Watching the moon glint off the black water,
a glowing chessboard in a dark room.
This winter, when we light the fire,
we will remember him. 

The earth where your feet fell remembers you,
and where the earth is, mortals sank.
Miss them a little but not too long.
Miss them but let them go.
Their faces, our times. 

Remember when the swallows danced.
Remember the spring I met the king.
Remember the lives that have passed.
All I had to do was sing. 

The age we start to remember,
the age we start to forget,
the age we start to recall,
is the age we start to regret.  

The most beautiful colours of a painting
are the hardest things to say.
Though the universe is dark, it is nothing without its stars.
The stone’s ripple continues on its way.

*

Remember when our world began?
It was bright enough to see tomorrow.
Everything impossible was possible,
everything that was bad was good,
and time in my mind washed over me,
mind as blank as a hurricane,
alone.
Nights unslept, days unattended,
hiding away in our bucket-spaded castles,
the sound of the sea sullied by you.
Now it is over
and I cannot find the four leaf clover. 

When I was a young boy and burrowed into my bed
my father stood up tall and talked of the lands he’d seen.
And it was drilled down into my growing head
how a boy like me had made the ocean’s green. 

Why he left I was too young to understand.
I remember the shriek of the whistle,
the crashing waves on the pebble-strewn sand,
the one who watches while you sleep. 

I remember the way they said their vowels.
I am throwing snow just like the wind.
You are the song I love to sing.
This winter, when we light the fire,
we will remember him.
We will remember him.

Edited by Owen Sheers, using lines submitted by Imogen Lewis, Eva Zhang, Umy Begum, Ore Olubode, Sylvia Villa, Nasim Asl, Zan Koh, Bethan Peters, Karen Thatcher, Megan Payne, Jena Curtis, Bryony Lewis, Richard Chen, Rhys Milling, Aled Hopkins, Calder House School, Eva Barry, Rachel Badgami, Ciara Shackleton, Mervyn Parry, Emily Parr, Nathan Horne, Greg Byrne, Nichol Keene, Sophie Lewis, Matthew Little, Holly Jones, Harrison Williams, Alisha Jenkins, Charlotte McNab, Chloe Cox, Zara Salim, and Jasmine Kaur. 

About Owen Sheers

Owen Sheers is a Welsh poet, author and scriptwriter. He has published two poetry collections, The Blue Book and Skirrid Hillwhich won a Somerset Maugham Award. His debut prose work The Dust Diaries was the Welsh Book of the Year 2005. Owen’s first novel, Resistance, has been translated into ten languages. Owen co-wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation, released in the UK in 2011. The same year, Owen wrote the script and novelisation for The Passion, the National Theatre of Wales’ 72 hour site-specific production in Port Talbot starring and directed by Michael Sheen. The Observer described the production as “the theatrical event of the decade”.

Owen was the Artist in Residence for the Welsh Rugby Union in 2012. His non-fiction work on the welsh team, Calon, was published by Faber in 2013. His new verse drama Pink Mist was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 and was published by Faber in 2013, going on to become Wales Book of the Year 2014. His play, created with wounded soldierspremiered at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and toured the UK, winning the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award at the Edinburgh Festival.

About Mari George

Mari George comes originally from Bridgend, and has two children, Elen and Morgan. She earns her living as a writer and has worked on scripts for the Welsh soap opera, Pobol y Cwm, and as a poet – she’s a member of the Aberhafren  Talwrn y Beirdd team. Mari has won the Literature Medal at the Urdd Eisteddfod as well as chairs in local Eisteddfods. Y Nos yn Dal yn Fy Ngwallt (Gomer, 2004) was her first collection of poetry.