Englynion translated from the Welsh of Gerallt Lloyd Owen

Genocide of the Welsh

Oh no, there’s no need to choose gas for us  
We’re not like the Jews 
Not murder, murders our fuse  
No jackboots but English shoes.  

Holiday Home

It’s beautiful but in spite of the walls  
All painted shining white 
I find more hope in the site  
Of ruins than this gleam of light.  

Y Fro Gymraeg  

To go there is to dream on, to follow  
After the heart has gone;  
A land on the horizon
Betrayal never spat on. 

Gwawr (a student who ended her life) 

With herself she shared her pain in the depths 
And one day in Dwyran 
Her grief rose where the tide ran 
Beached her body on the sand. 

The Unconscious  

The still and bottomless sea; dark waters 
Always seeming empty 
In its hidden deposits we 
Find our forgotten memory. 


Though leaves stitch its roof seam, though the thorns 
Close the empty door frame 
One man’s thoughts will not refrain 
From the urge to keep it tame.  

Dublin Remembrance Garden  

Bullets made this, not flowers – and what grows 
In its soil are martyrs; 
Their sacrifice its hedges, 
Red with blood, though green, it is.  

An Ancient Nation  

An ancient nation, a long memory; 
An ancient memory, verity.  
An ancient soil, roots that are safe; 
Ancient roots, a stout base. 
An ancient language, short of breath; 
Ancient breath, a test.

These translations attempt to reflect the form and structure of the englynion, but cannot re-produce the cynghanedd, or word-music, of the originals.