Gillian Clarke

Gillian Clarke is a Welsh poet who served as the National Poet of Wales from 2008 to 2016. Her work often features on GCSE syllabuses. She is also a playwright, editor, and has even worked translating Welsh to English. Clarke gives poetry readings throughout the United Kingdom and her work has been translated into other languages, like Chinese. 


Gillian Clarke’s free-verse poem ‘Advent’ depicts a lifeless winter landscape where everything is frozen to a state that instills despair and hopelessness in the speaker’s heart.



‘Babysitting’ by Gillian Clarke is a two stanza free verse poem about a babysitter who is having a hard time babysitting a child because of her own fears.


‘Buzzard’ by Gillian Clarke is a poem about lost hopes, dreams and opportunities revisited, using the metaphor of a buzzard and its skeleton.


‘Clocks’ by Gillian Clarke is a unique and deep poem that reflects the passage of time and the wonders of growing older.

Friesian Bull

‘Friesian Bull’ by Gillian Clarke is a tale of a bull that is angry at his current state of being locked in his “brick and concrete stall”.

Heron at Port Talbot

‘Heron at Port Talbot’ describes the relationship between the industrial world and the natural and how the two collide on a snowy road at night.


‘Journey’ by Gillian Clarke is a poem of three stanzas that focuses on a road trip and all the things that are witnessed by the couple in the car.


‘Lament’ is Gillian Clarke’s war-inspired perspective on taking the time to remember the devastation and destruction that humanity is capable of today.

Lunchtime Lecture

‘Lunchtime Lecture’ depicts the story of a “woman” from ancient history whose remains have been uncovered.

Miracle on St. David’s Day

‘Miracle on St. David’s Day’, as has been stated by Clarke herself, is based on her own personal experience about a man who had not “spoken” for years.


‘Musician’ by Gillian Clarke is a poem about her son learning to play the piano, where the imagery around the home aids to describe the creativity of music.

My Box

‘My Box’, by Gillian Clarke, explores the themes of relationships, strength, love and eternity in this poem with the metaphor of the box.


‘Pipistrelle’ by Gillian Clarke is a short poem about hidden messages of a relationship that has gone cold and does not have a future.


‘Seal’ by Gillian Clarke depicts motherhood. Specifically, the poet chose to describe the experience through the relationship between a mother and a baby seal.


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