Thanks to BlackSheep Journal for publishing my poem Hanes here.
Hanes is a Cymraeg word meaning both history and story. It’s a poem about motherhood, about how we pass on our crap to the next generations, as it’s handed down to us. It’s quite dark really. I’ve used the knitting references as it’s a skill often passed down through the generations. It should also work as a visual representation – if you turn the poem on its side the lines should look like knitting as it sits over a needle.
The italicized lines are runs/ladders in the knitting, there are also dropped stitches (the line ‘history forgets us’) and the holes as in ‘hOwl’. You’ll notice it’s a scraggy piece of knitting.
I hope it represents how our family stories are lost through time, how they become worn and threadbare. I would argue this is predominantly because we are encouraged to abandon our personal histories ‘hanes’ in place of the more linear history-you-get-in-books-type-history.
Here’s a film I also made of it a while ago: