Y Blotyn Du (The Black Spot)

One of the things I love about Wales is the language. Unique to any other, Welsh is a language that seems to be taylor-made for poets. Indeed, the national anthem calls Wales “a land of poets and singers”. Though some of the phoenetic sounds can appear very hard and corse, when you understand it, it you really begin to appreciate it’s beauty. I wanted to share this beautiful poem by the famous Welsh poet Hedd Wyn, who won the poetry chair at the 1917 Eisteddfod, but had died in the trenches in France before he could claim his prize.

   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 anrhefn i gyd
   Yng nghanol gogoniant Duw.

   *  *  *  *  *

We have no right to the stars,
Nor the homesick moon,
Nor the golden-edged clouds
In the endless blue.

We have no right to anything
But the old and withered earth;
That is all in chaos
In the midst of the glory of God.

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