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"Awen yn codi o'r cudd ac yn cydio'r cwbl"
- Waldo Williams
(Awen arising from hiding and everything binding)

The Spider (Y Corryn)

Iwan Llwyd was winner of the National Eisteddfod Crown in 1990, and, with Twm Morys, has been a productive deviser of poetic and musical entertainments in Welsh. In this well-known poem he compares the process of the weaving of a web by a spider to the making of a poem. I have aimed, here, at reproducing both the meaning and the formal structure of the original.

Iwan Llwyd (front) with John Barnie, Twm Morys and Nigel Jenkins
(prospectus for a bilingual poetry and music tour)

The Spider

His web was perfect

and him sitting there

where the glistening threads intersect:

he spent his life knitting sunlight

to a round plane of dew;

the end of his labour in sight

he'd listen to the drip of the rain

between the lines

silently shifting their refrain

and the grey river in full flow

irritable as it falls

companionless below

to meet the brackish floods

between the autumn cliffs

and the fringed woods;

he is impatient

weaving intricate patterns,

each answering assent

marking an exact measure

between corner and centre

stealing the stars' treasure

of diamonds to entice

insects along steel threads

towards the silence:

then a sudden rush of air

a quiver through the intersections;

like an old man he's there

under the yellow leaves

gathering it all in

to the pattern that he weaves.

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