from the Welsh of Gerallt Lloyd Owen

Right here we stepped into the dark
Llywelyn got it in the neck
This I’ll never forget.

Right here in this stream
Llywelyn was seen.
He stepped on this stone.

The dark falls right here
The enemy creeping near
It all happened right here.

I’m here right now
Where his hair lay on straw
Drops of blood on this floor.

Here is our memory
Here our breath breaks free
Here, just now, was our nativity.


This short poem (short, that is, compared to the same poet’s awdl  of the same name) distils the sense and immediacy of the awdl in a sensuously experienced evocation both of the death of Llywelyn, the last native Prince of Wales, in 1282, and the poet’s sense that the event gave birth to the modern nation of Wales in a way which its perpetrators could not have imagined.

For my meditations in verse on the awdl see THIS PAGE