Emyr Lewis: Lost Things (From Welsh)

Lost Things
By Emyr Lewis
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the Welsh

This is the city of things lost
in gaps between a Sunday afternoon
and all of time, the things that had the stamp
of spirit on them once and are now lost

in gutters, or beneath the railway bridge,
ensconced in the peripheries of parks,
preserved from shades of meaning and remembrance:
old passport photographs, a watch or two,

and whiskey bottles filling up with dew,
house keys, a left hand glove, loose change, the grime
that lathers them when dog-day winds return,
and rain that pummels them in wintertime.

Unburied and unelegized they lie:
we have no ritual for what we lose,
only curt curses for them now and again
until we loose them out beyond our ken.


The Original:


Y Pethau Coll
Emyr Lewis

Hon yw dinas y pethau coll
‘ddaliwyd yn y bwlch rhwng pnawn dydd Sul
a gweddill amser; pethau y bu stamp
eneidiau arnynt unwaith; nawr ar goll

Mewn cwteri, o dan bontydd trên,
ym morderi’r parciau’n llechu’n saff
o afael atgof ac arwyddocâd,
ffotograffau pasport, menyg chwith,

poteli whisgi hanner-gwag o wlith,
allweddi cartref, arian mân; â’r baw,
sy’n lluwchio pan ddaw’r gwynt yn nyddiau’r cwn
yn bwrw arnynt am yn ail â’r glaw.

Heb eu claddu, heb eu marwnadu’n iawn:
nid oes defodau cymwys i bethau coll,
dim ond bytheirio byr o dro i dro
cyn ymryddhau, a’u gollwng nhw dros go’

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