Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 15: Another Poem by Hedd Wyn

Another poem by Hedd Wyn.  The Welsh text is from the Oxford Book of Welsh Verse.  The English is my translation.  The word "blotyn" in Welsh means "blot" as in an ink blot or a spot.  The title of this poem has been translated by others as "The Black Dot."  I've opted to keep it as "blot," realizing that that word can also bring to mind a stain.

Nid oes gennym hawl ar y sêr,
Na’r lleuad hiraethus chwaith,
Na’r cwmwl o aur a ymylch
Yng nghanol y glesni maith.

Nid oes gennym hawl ar ddim byd
Ond ar yr hen ddaear wyw;
A honno sy’n anhrefn i gyd
Yng nghanol gogoniant Duw.

We have no claim on the stars
Nor longing for the moon either,
Nor a gold-edged cloud
In the center of long blueness.

We have no claim on any world
But the old withered earth;
And that is all chaos
In the center of God’s glory.

(translation by Michael Ratcliffe)

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