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from the June 2004 issue

In Praise of the Brothers of Bod Iwan

For the Welsh original, please click here.


In Bod Iwan there have long
been gods of words and gods of song,
gods with feet sound upon this earth,
wild gods and wise gods, for what it's worth:
Gerallt, who's followed all the trails
from Madryn back again to Wales
and Edmwnd, Edmwnd who knows
that sense and sound are more than shows;
the great water and the smallest birds
are all in Ieuan's quiet words:

Two came to Bod Iwan's table,
two whose words were a fiery fable,
smoking words on a far flung plain
and Camwy talking back again;
two coming through a storm of girls
through the dustclouds in their curls,
through the cities, setting free
the one thunderclap in every three,
two blind men who heard another
echo of a distant thunder:

To Bod Iwan a fair wind came
through the winter leaves aflame,
and on the canal a faith does flow
from the summer spring below;
a myrtle grove, a forest glade,
and rising smoke like a siren's shade,
a lamb on a cross, and wine tonight,
in Gaiman there's a fading light:
today tomorrow, death and birth,
in Bod Iwan there's the earth.

Gaiman, Patagonia
November 1998

Read more from the June 2004 issue
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