Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Menna Elfyn

LITANY ON BEGINNING A BURIAL

A bit of dirt never did anyone harm, was grandma’s belief –

Are all men’s words like a blade of grass?

I arranged a burial today at daybreak.

The departed will be buried, with the other cats,
at the far end of the garden.

The herbs on the window sill will know nothing about it.

I shall lift the soil with my bare hands.

I shall talk to the snails after the final prayer.

Yes, Oh she’ll have a decent burial.

Who knows, margaritas may be appropriate.

An anonymous traditional verse will be hummed, unaccompanied.

And yes, she will be happy in the waste ground and the isolation.

Who knows, she may joke to the ants that she started out this way.

And yes, we shall still celebrate her, like a miraculous birth that all at    once died.

There will be a circle of sisters around her, to mimic the men-only funerals.

There will be a ban on tears, but sleet can fall quietly.

And we shall give thanks for her life, for birth, for care, for the tender nurturing.

And there will be a nestful of the valiant there, uncomplaining fledglings.

There will be no gravestone, but everyone will remember it was there that feminism was buried.

Everyone of her stock who has outlived her, a human family.

Litani ar gychwyn claddfa

Litani ar gychwyn claddfa

Gwnaeth dogn o faw ddim drwg i neb oedd coel mamgu.

A yw geiriau pob dyn fel glaswelltyn?

Trefnais angladd heddi ar doriad dydd.

Bydd yr ymadawedig yn cael ei chladdu
gyda’r cathod eraill, ben pella’r ardd.

Bydd y perlysiau lintel ffenest yn gwybod amdano.

Byddaf yn codi’r pridd a’m cledrau noethion.

Byddaf yn sgwrsio a’r malwod- wedi gweddi’r terfyn.

Bydd, O fe fydd yn cael claddfa barchus.

Pwy a wyr na fydd ‘Margaritas’  yn weddus.

Caiff hen bennill anhysbys ei hymian , yn ddigyfeiliant.

A bydd, fe fydd yn ddedwydd yn yr anialwch a’r anghyfanneddle.

Pwy a wyr na fydd yn cellwair wrth y morgrug mai dechreuad felly a gafodd hithau.

A byddwn, byddwn yn dal i’w dathlu fel rhyw eni gwyrthiol a fu farw’n ffrit-ffrat.

Bydd cylch o chwiorydd o’i chwmpas i ddynwared angladdau’r ‘dynion yn unig’.

Bydd gwaharddeb ar ddagrau , ond gall odlaw ddisgyn yn dawel.

A byddwn yn diolch am ei bywyd, am eni, am feithrin , am ein magu’n dyner.

A bydd nythiad o’r glewion yno, yn gywion di-gwyn.

Ni fydd carreg fedd ond bydd pawb yn cofio mai yn y fan honno y claddwyd
‘ffeminyddiaeth’.

Ac ni fydd ewyllys, namyn yr ewyllys i barhau i fod yn un teulu dynol.
Close

LITANY ON BEGINNING A BURIAL

A bit of dirt never did anyone harm, was grandma’s belief –

Are all men’s words like a blade of grass?

I arranged a burial today at daybreak.

The departed will be buried, with the other cats,
at the far end of the garden.

The herbs on the window sill will know nothing about it.

I shall lift the soil with my bare hands.

I shall talk to the snails after the final prayer.

Yes, Oh she’ll have a decent burial.

Who knows, margaritas may be appropriate.

An anonymous traditional verse will be hummed, unaccompanied.

And yes, she will be happy in the waste ground and the isolation.

Who knows, she may joke to the ants that she started out this way.

And yes, we shall still celebrate her, like a miraculous birth that all at    once died.

There will be a circle of sisters around her, to mimic the men-only funerals.

There will be a ban on tears, but sleet can fall quietly.

And we shall give thanks for her life, for birth, for care, for the tender nurturing.

And there will be a nestful of the valiant there, uncomplaining fledglings.

There will be no gravestone, but everyone will remember it was there that feminism was buried.

Everyone of her stock who has outlived her, a human family.

LITANY ON BEGINNING A BURIAL

A bit of dirt never did anyone harm, was grandma’s belief –

Are all men’s words like a blade of grass?

I arranged a burial today at daybreak.

The departed will be buried, with the other cats,
at the far end of the garden.

The herbs on the window sill will know nothing about it.

I shall lift the soil with my bare hands.

I shall talk to the snails after the final prayer.

Yes, Oh she’ll have a decent burial.

Who knows, margaritas may be appropriate.

An anonymous traditional verse will be hummed, unaccompanied.

And yes, she will be happy in the waste ground and the isolation.

Who knows, she may joke to the ants that she started out this way.

And yes, we shall still celebrate her, like a miraculous birth that all at    once died.

There will be a circle of sisters around her, to mimic the men-only funerals.

There will be a ban on tears, but sleet can fall quietly.

And we shall give thanks for her life, for birth, for care, for the tender nurturing.

And there will be a nestful of the valiant there, uncomplaining fledglings.

There will be no gravestone, but everyone will remember it was there that feminism was buried.

Everyone of her stock who has outlived her, a human family.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère