Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Sunday Poem


after translating from Welsh, particularly a novel by Kate Roberts

Your hand on her hand - you've never been
this close to a woman since your mother's beauty
at the school gate took your breath away,
since you held hot sticky hands with your best friend,
since you, schoolgirl guest in a miner's house,
two up, two down, too small for guest rooms
or guest beds, shared with two sisters,
giggling in the dark, hearts hot with boy-talk.

You spread the script. She hands you a fruit.
You break it, eat, know exactly how
to hold its velvet weight, to bite, to taste it
to the last gold shred. But you're lost for words,
can't think of the English for eirin - it's on the tip of your -
But the cat ate your tongue, licking peach juice
from your palm with its rough langue de chat
tafod cath, the rasp of loss.

by Gillian Clarke

PS: Btw, I was wondering earlier in the bus - does the Prince of Wales speak Welsh?...

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