Bowen, Euros 1904–1988

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Bowen, Euros 1904–1988

PERSONAL: Born September 12, 1904, in Treorci, Rhondda Valley, Wales; died 1988. Education: University of Wales, B.A., B.D.; University of Oxford, M.A.; also attended St. David's College, Lampteter. Religion: Anglican.

CAREER: Poet and cleric. Wrexham, Denbighshire, curate; Llangywair and Llanuwchllyn, near Bala, Merionethshire, rector, until 1973. Member, Church of Wales Standing Liturgical Advisory Commission, 1967–74.

MEMBER: Academi Gymreig (secretary).

AWARDS, HONORS: Crown at National Eisteddfod of Wales, 1948, for poem "O'r Dwyrain," and 1950, for poem "Difodiant."

WRITINGS:

POEMS

Achlysuron, Gwasg Gomer (Llandysul, Wales), 1970.

Cylch o gerddi, Gwasg y Brython (Liverpool, England), 1970.

Elfennau, Gwasg Gomer (Llandysul, Wales), 1972.

Poems, Gwasg Gomer (Llandysul, Wales), 1974.

Cynullion, Gwasg Gomer (Llandysul, Wales), 1976.

O'r Corn aur, Gwasg Gee (Denbigh, Wales), 1977.

Trin cerddi, Llyfrau'r Faner (Y Bala, Wales), 1979.

Beirdd simbolaidd Ffrainc, Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru (Cardiff, Wales), 1980.

Amrywion, Gwasg Gomer (Llandysul, Wales), 1980.

Dan Groes y Dean, Gwasg Gee (Denbigh, Wales), 1980.

(With Enid Luff) Lux in tenebris (includes musical score), Primavera (London, England), 1980.

Masg Minos, Gwasg Gee (Denbigh, Wales), 1981.

Gwynt yn y canghennau, Gwasg Gee (Denbigh, Wales), 1982.

O bridd i bridd, Gwasg Gee (Denbigh, Wales), 1983.

Detholion, Yr Academi Cymreig (Cardiff, Wales), 1984.

Buarth bywyd, Gwasg Gwynedd (Caernarfon, Wales), 1986.

Goleuni'r eithin, Gwasg Gee (Denbigh, Wales), 1986.

Yr alarch, Gwasg Gregynog (Y Drenewydd, Wales), 1987.

Oes y Medwsa, Cyhoeddiadau Barddas (Caernarfon, Wales), 1987.

Lleidr tân, Gwasg Gwynedd (Caernarfon, Wales), 1989.

Dathlu bywyd, Cyhoeddiadau Barddas (Aberystwyth, Wales), 1990.

Euros Bowen: Priest-Poet (anthology), edited by Cynthia Davies and Saunders Davies, Church in Wales Publications (Penarth, Wales), 1993.

TRANSLATIONS

Virgil, Bugeilgerddi Fyrsil, Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru (Cardiff, Wales), 1975.

Athanasius, Saint, Patriarch of Alexandria, De incarnatione—Ymgnawdoliad y Gair, Argraffty'r M.C. (Caernarfon, Wales), 1976.

Sophocles, Oidipos yn Colonos, Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru (Cardiff, Wales), 1979.

Sophocles, Electra, Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru (Cardiff, Wales), 1984.

Sophocles, Philoctetes, Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru (Cardiff, Wales), 1991.

SIDELIGHTS: After earning degrees from the University of Wales and the University of Oxford, Euros Bowen became an Anglican priest. He followed a tradition of combining learning with religious duties, translating a variety of texts into Welsh from the original Greek, Latin, and French languages. Beginning in the winter of 1947, he wrote volumes of his own poetry, verse steeped in imagery of nature, life, and rebirth and strongly influenced by his readings and translations of European literature. Regarding the use of imagery, he preferred to avoid the more decorative style, relying instead on images that evoked deeper expressions. He experimented frequently in his work, going so far as to invent some new poetic forms. Bowen was awarded the crown at the National Eisteddfod in 1948 for his poem "O'r Dwyrain" and again in 1950 for "Difodiant."

Bowen made frequent use of cynghanedd, a Welsh poetic technique employing assonance and internal rhyming patters. Tim Saunders, in an article for World Literature Today, remarked that Bowen "used cynghanedd both in the traditional ways and in bold experiments which often aroused controversy. He gave the prose poem fresh colors with it and applied it to vers libre in order to create a new sense of form." In a review of O'r Corn aur for World Literature Today, Bedwyr Lewis Jones commented of Bowen's work that "poems such as these are celebrations of creative renewal; they stir the reader's response."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Stephens, Meic, editor, Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1986.

PERIODICALS

World Literature Today, winter, 1979, Bedwyr Lewis Jones, review of O'r Corn aur, p. 169; summer, 1993, Tim Saunders, review of Euros Bowen: Priest-Poet, p. 651.

Y-Traethodydd Aberystwyth, Volume 123, 1968, pp. 98-107; Volume 128, 1973, pp. 177-185.

ONLINE

Archive Network Wales, http://www.archivesnetworkwales.info/ (September 23, 2005).

Western Illinois University Web site, http://www.wiu.edu/ (September 23, 2005).