Grahame Davies: "Creator" (From Welsh)

Davies' original introduction to this poem reads thusly:
While walking near Offa’s Dyke in his home village of Coedpoeth one Sunday morning in early 1945, Harold Tudor heard a young delivery boy singing a Welsh song to himself. In that instant, he was inspired to establish the International Eisteddfod as a means of healing the divisions of war.
The above-mentioned Offa's Dyke is a massive linear earthwork, built in the 8th century as a delineation of the boundary between Anglo-Saxon Mercia and the Welsh kingdom of Powys. Today, the England-Wales border still mostly follows the dyke through the Welsh Marches. It is of cultural and historical significance, symbolically separating what is English, Saxon and of the Crown from what is Welsh, Celtic, and under the Crown. The symbolism is in many ways reminiscent of Hadrian's Wall which runs between England and Scotland through the Scottish Marches.

Creator
By Grahame Davies
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original Welsh

Borders can close us off or bring us close.
With Offa's Dyke that cleaves one land in two,
Each living soul must soon choose one of those.

A Sunday stroll alone; the lane that goes
Between the many Them and Us the few.
Borders can close us off or bring us close.

The voice of guns as a fraught nation blows.
The voice of children with no rage or clue.
Each living soul must soon choose one of those.

And in the end the picture that it shows:
A world with nothing left for guns to do.
Borders can close us off or bring us close.

Dry acres, greened by tears, where healing grows-
Or wounds endeared to rage that wants its due.
Each living soul must soon choose one of those.

The birthright of song shared like wine that knows
Nothing at all of why, or where, or who.
Borders can close us off or bring us close.
Each living soul must soon choose one of those.


The Original:

Creawdwr

Man cwrdd, neu fan cau allan ydyw’r ffin;
â chraith Clawdd Offa’n hollti’r fro yn ddwy,
eiddo pob enaid byw yw dewis p’un.

Ar fore Sul, cael tro ar ben dy hun
ar hyd y lôn sy’n derfyn gwlad a phlwy’;
man cwrdd, neu fan cau allan ydyw’r ffin.

Llais gynnau pell y grymusterau blin.
Llais plentyn na ŵyr ddim o’u dicter hwy;
eiddo pob enaid byw yw dewis p’un.

Ac yn y fan, gweld popeth megis llun:
y byd lle na fydd codi arfau mwy,
man cwrdd, neu fan cau allan ydyw’r ffin.

Dagrau iachâd sy’n glasu’r erwau crin,
neu’r dicter cyfiawn sy’n coleddu’r clwy’,
eiddo pob enaid byw yw dewis p’un.

Y cenedlaethau’n rhannu’r gân fel gwin,
heb feddwl gyntaf pam, na ble, na phwy;
man cwrdd, neu fan cau allan ydyw’r ffin,
eiddo pob enaid byw yw dewis p’un.

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