DEALL GOLEUNIUNDERSTANDING LIGHT
Elin ap Hyweltrans. the poet
(er cof am Gwen John)


Weithiau, ar b'nawniau Sul, a'r golau'n oer
mae hi'n gweld ei hwyneb am yr hyn ydi o -
-a'r haul yn ysgythru esgyrn ei chernau,
a chylchoedd y blynyddoedd dan ei llygaid.



Ben bore, yn yr offeren
a'r lleill wrth eu pader mewn byd sy'n llawn
goleuni -
syllai ar y plygion
yng ngwempl y lleian o'i blaen.
Sut all lliain gwyn fod unlliw â lluwch?

Neithiwr, wrth wawl y lamp, gosododd
dorth o fara a chyllell ar y bwrdd,
a chyn bwyta, codi ei phensel.

Heno, bydd hi'n gorffen y braslun,
yn tynnu llun y gath a'r gadair simsan. Gyr
y bydd gwallt y ferch sy'n plygu tua'r golau
yr un lliw â diferyn o waed sydd newydd sychu.


(in memory of Gwen John)


Sometimes
on Sunday afternoons
in north light
she sees her face for what it really is -
a cold sun etches a cheekbone,
figuring the years' circles under her eyes.

At mass this morning
others at prayer in a world of light -

she stares at the folds
in coif and wimple.
How can linen be the colour of ash?

Last night by lamplight she placed
a loaf of bread, a knife, on the table
and before eating picked up her pencil.

Tonight she will finish the sketch.
She will draw the cat, the rickety chair.
She knows the girl's head against the light
will be
the colour of a drop of blood,
drying.

Copyright © Elyn ap Hywel; trans. Copyright © the poet - publ. seren (Poetry Wales Press Ltd.)


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