"Ponderynge together yestardayes promise, and two-dayes doyng"
(Hall's Chronicle - 1548)


"Goronigl gwyr yr Ynys" (Lewis Glyn Cothi - 1450)

Iwan Llwyd : Aneirin


In a comment on my earlier post on the death of Iwan Llwyd, Hilaire asked about the poem below and subsequently sent me a copy of the Welsh text suggesting I translate it. So here is an initial attempt. Aneirin was the author of the ‘Goddodin’, a series of elegies for Brythonic warriors killed at the Battle of Catraeth in the Sixth Century.

Aneirin

With your camera and your helmet
you jumped down from the helicopter
a bare mile from the battle,

then escaped it squatting
in the nearest refuge while missiles
exploded in bits all around you:

past the burning skeletons of tanks
and the ashes of empty bodies, wounded soldiers
and the raw flesh which fed the crows,

you stumbled and fell through the mud
getting up from time to time to take a picture
in colour of a man killing:

in black and white
in Catraeth, Kampuchea,
the Somme and the Six Counties

you nurtured the magic of a familiar story
gathering the boys to answer your questions
their eyes following the lens’s prophecy:

you gave them fame to survive the battle
a glimpse of eternity
from the unbiased muse of a journalist.