Most of Dohollau’s published writing takes the form of poems (including prose-poems). These are printed in the following collections, published by Éditions Folle Avoine (my translations):
Seule enfance / Childhood Alone (1978)
La Venelle des portes / The Lane of Doors (1981)
Matière de lumière / Matter of Light (1985)
L’Adret du jour / The Day’s Declivity (1989)
Pages aquarellées / Watercoloured Pages (1989)
Les Portes d’en bas / The Doors Beneath (1992)
La Terre âgée / Aged Earth (1996)
Le Point de rosée / Dew Stitch (1999)
Le Dit des couleurs / The Colours’ Tale (2003)
Une suite de matins / A Suite for Mornings (2005)
Un regard d’ambre / An Amber Gaze (2008)
She has also published one novel, La Réponse / The Answer (1982), which is inspired by the philosopher Jules Lequier, and one volume of literary essays, Les Cinq jardins et autres textes / The Five Gardens and Other Texts (1996). The latter focuses chiefly on Rilke’s novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. Several of the volumes are illustrated by frontispieces by Heather Dohollau’s son Tanguy Dohollau.
Heather Dohollau’s poems are powerfully evocative of the significant places in her life, always making allowances for the essentially temporal nature of our encounters with place. An exile who only rarely returned to her lost origins (Wales, Bréhat which was a new origin to her), she perceived that the real talisman, what enfolds us back 'home', is transience itself: changing light and colours, what was only ever seen with the corner of one's eye, the awareness that each return is also a chance of leaving the place 'intact' - only then are its gifts truly received. This is also how she looked at paintings (never trying to describe or map out, but all the more vivid in its translation of visuality) and at the space of the poem itself: a slow, open form, returning, like a wave. Her way of remembering, like her way of returning, was intensely visual, intensely seeking the gifts of transience - with all the complex layering of a consciousness in constant dialogue with literature, philosophy, the visual arts, and of course with another language.
HD and reflection in Alexandra Park, Penarth: *Tanguy Dohollau*
HD on the river Cam: *Geneviève Guétemme*