dimarts, de juny 14, 2005

Mary Jones Tai'n Lôn (English / Welsh)

Some seventy years, Mary Jones Tai'n Lôn
has lived in the vastness
the wilderness
(it's all relative, we're talking about Britain)
of northwest Wales.

She is the perfect study
in what it means to be Welsh
what it means for Wales simply to be
what it means to be an everyday person
whose first language is Welsh

She is not a politician
a crusader, member of Cymdeithas yr Iaith
she carries no cards in her wallet for Plaid
nor for Cymuned
She even, gods help us, likes the Queen

Yet she is only Welsh
she enjoys her smôcs in Welsh
watches Coronation Street thinking in Welsh
her dog responds only to yr hen iaith
and she is a member of Merched y Wawr, chwarae teg

When she was baby
Wales was a land without a capital
worse than a colony
a poor cousin to English shiredom
a ragtag collection of Saxon subdivions, subjected

When she was a young lady
the Queen whom she admires
decreed with stroke of scepter
that a small coal harbour
would be Capital

The Prime Minister of the day
set up a colonial government in Cardiff
The Welsh Office
The Secretary of State for Wales
in other words, Governor General
and all loyal to London who appointed them

As she toiled through her working years
gweithiodd fel nyrs yn y Cottage
taking care of old people
until, eventually,
she, herself, was fairly old

The government in Westminster
colluding with the Governer General
that is Secretary of State for Wales
rearranged the local government structure
three times

From shires
to counties
to new counties
to unitary authorities
the map was hard to read between the erasures

Then, about to retire daeth y refferendwm
yr etholiad dros rywbeth yn pennu at Gymru rydd
and then for the first time since Glyndwr
an elected national government met in Cardiff
little old coal harbour turned World Heritage City

Some seventy years and Mary Jones Tai'n Lôn
the most Welsh of women
watched as her country grew from teetering Celtic has been
to something like a modern nation
some seventy years saw seven hundred almost melt away