Emyr Lewis: In a Church (From Welsh)

In a Church
By Emyr Lewis
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click here to hear me recite the poem in Welsh

Candles are stars
in human hands:
a bit of tallow
for the Madonna.
Each one’s a gift,
a silent prayer,
keeping a secret
in holy honor.

The saints repose
who knew their Lord
in mystic grace
of wood and gloss.
Their eyes partake
of radiance.
Their whisper is Sancta
Simplicitas
.

Here God comes down
through ceiling cracks
as a moth heads
for flame, to fly
playing hide and seek
with a hot blade,
living in peril,
not knowing why.


The Original:

Mewn Eglwys

Disgleirio mae sêr
canhwyllau’r werin,
gwerth hatlin o wêr
i’r Forwyn Fair,
a phob un yn aberth,
yn weddi ddistaw,
yn gadw cyfrinach
heb dorri gair.

Cael seibiant mai saint
Cymdeithas yr Iesu
rhag synio am faint
dirgelion gras,
eu llygaid yn llarpio’r
goleuni glanwedd
a’u sibrwd yw Sancta
Simplicitas.

Disgyn mae Duw
drwy grac yn y nenfwd
fel glöyn byw
at oleuni’r fflam,
er mwyn chwarae cwato
â’r llafnau disglair
a byw yn beryglus
heb wybod pam.

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