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Gedicht

Menna Elfyn

Welsh Ice

Welsh Ice

Welsh Ice

They’re becoming the same, Welsh ice and spring frost,
Both worn underfoot to a blue wafer,
How alike as they leave us, how soon they’ll be lost.

Only bitterest breath comes over the glacier
Where kisses are white wreaths upon a white coast.
They’re becoming the same, Welsh ice and spring frost.

A kingdom must start or finish in flood.
There’s some iceberg with our epitaph written on its crown.
How alike as they leave us, how deep they’ll go down.

We’re scarcely a cobweb, a rumour of ghosts,
And a country might vanish at the turn of a key.
They’re becoming the same, Welsh ice, spring frosts.

History thaws. But when has mercury shown
Mercy or memory of what it murders?
They’re alike as they leave us, how soon they’ll be gone.

It starts at the pole in a kind of unlocking
And soon we’re a legend beneath a blue level.
They’re becoming the same, Welsh ice and spring frost;
So alike as they leave us, so soon to be lost.


Translated by Robert Minhinnick
Menna  Elfyn

Menna Elfyn

(Verenigd Koninkrijk, 1951)

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Welsh Ice

They’re becoming the same, Welsh ice and spring frost,
Both worn underfoot to a blue wafer,
How alike as they leave us, how soon they’ll be lost.

Only bitterest breath comes over the glacier
Where kisses are white wreaths upon a white coast.
They’re becoming the same, Welsh ice and spring frost.

A kingdom must start or finish in flood.
There’s some iceberg with our epitaph written on its crown.
How alike as they leave us, how deep they’ll go down.

We’re scarcely a cobweb, a rumour of ghosts,
And a country might vanish at the turn of a key.
They’re becoming the same, Welsh ice, spring frosts.

History thaws. But when has mercury shown
Mercy or memory of what it murders?
They’re alike as they leave us, how soon they’ll be gone.

It starts at the pole in a kind of unlocking
And soon we’re a legend beneath a blue level.
They’re becoming the same, Welsh ice and spring frost;
So alike as they leave us, so soon to be lost.


Translated by Robert Minhinnick

Welsh Ice

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