ONE POEM – Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon

“Family of Man” by Barbara Hepworth
Four out of a number of bronzes which collectively make up “Family of Man”, displayed in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. © Copyright Oliver Dixon

Barbara Hepworth’s ‘The Family of Man’                        

[Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2018]

Most of my life-years,
you were already dead. Even in our brief overlap
you were not known to me.

I did not hear your name
or any of your words, I did not see
your hands sculpt bronze and air.

In art, double lesson, Thursday afternoons,
Mr Sinclair, sculptor manqué, commented on Henry Moore
but passed you by.

No preconceptions overlaid with theory
marred our first encounter.
Was it only last week?

A Thursday marked for rain, delivered sun to radiate
over your curved, heavy figures, your ‘Family of Man’.
Their silent eloquence: beyond flesh, heat or cold,
Designed to endure, your craft
and alchemy, created clean beauty,
realised intent, a blessed flawed perfection.

Your forms, embodied
stand grouped and yet alone,
joined and yet distinct. Men and women
freed. No empty lines, absurd dimensions.
wrought by conditioned intentions.


Ceinwen writes short stories and poetry. She is widely published in web magazines and in print anthologies. She was Highly Commended in the Blue Nib Chapbook Competition [Spring 2018], won the Hedgehog Press Poetry Competition ‘Songs to Learn and Sing’. [August 2018]. Her first chapbook was published in July 2019: ‘Cerddi Bach’ [Little Poems], a Stickleback by Hedgehog Press. She was a winner in the Nicely Folded Paper Pamphlet Competition July 2019 and her first pamphlet is due to be published 2019/20. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University, UK (2017). She believes everyone’s voice counts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s