The more I think about losing weight, The more I pile upon my plate. The more I look in the mirror and see, The more depressed I get about me. I’ve tried all the diet’s that you can name, It’s just that I hate the starvation pain. I wish I had the will-power to fight, Instead of eating night after night. I’d like to lose quite a few stone, Start to exercise and begin to tone, I’d like to have the perfect figure, Instead of feeling bigger and bigger. they tell us to eat smaller quantities. instead of a hoard. But I know I eat because I’m bored. I’m going to try and try again It’s just that I hate the starvation pain.
Sooner tears than sleep this midnight Come into my eyes. On my window the complaining Tempest groans and sighs.
Grows the noise now of its weeping, Sobbing to and fro – On the glass the tears come hurtling Of some wildest woe.
Why, O wind against my window, Come you grief to prove? Can it be your heart’s gone grieving For its own lost love?
By John Morris-Jones (1864 – 1929) translated by Tony Conran
Additional information: Sir John Morris-Jones (17 October 1864 – 16 April 1929) was a Welsh grammarian, academic and Welsh-language poet. In 1889 Morris-Jones was appointed as a lecturer in Welsh at the University College of North Wales, Bangor (now Bangor University) where he was promoted to professor in 1895, a post he held until his death. Morris-Jones worked to standardise Welsh orthography.
Beneath is the original Welsh language version of the poem.
Cwyn y Gwynt
Cwsg ni ddaw i’m hamrant heno, Dagrau ddaw ynghynt. Wrth fy ffenestr yn gwynfannus Yr ochneidia’r gwynt.
Codi’i lais yn awr, ac wylo, Beichio wylo mae; Ar y grwydr yr hyrddia’i ddagrau Yn ei wylltaf wae.
Pam y deui, wynt, i wylo At fy ffenestr i? Dywed im, a gollaist tithau Un a’th garai di?
Again the soldiers fill the valley. Driven by necessity The men forge cannon And the women spin cloth for uniforms in their parlours Soon, the snowdrops. Young wives weave boots from palmetto fronds And aunts save their piss For the nitre that makes All the sloshing about in tears And furnishes the men in war.
Soon, the primrose. The children in the little games Have nothing to say of war But die. The older girls knit socks for the dying. The young men cut up the bodies playfully Notwithstanding history’s immanence And not yet fearful of the waking From their drunk and bloody spell.
Soon, the cuckoo And the cuckoo-flower; Cuckoo-pint: Arum and wake-robin And navelwort and pennywort And all the crazy flowering Of even the monocotyledonous plants. And in the lacunae between horrors Much is fulfilled as the comedian entertains And flaps the colours of war hanging From rope made of Spanish moss.
By Dic Edwards
Information: Dic Edwards (born 1948) is a British playwright, poet and teacher of creative writing. His writing often touches upon political and social issues, nationalism and democracy.
Goodbye, the secret of the song, the brilliant right-order, Goodbye Hendre Fechan, And the song-books, bright pure song, To you, goodbye now also.
I’d a house to sleep, to live I’d shelter, Food and drink suffice me; I’d a home till I were dead, And a fire (thank God!) kept burning.
In place of my old homestead, and the woe Here, of an early life, In heaven God will give me now A home where’s no returning.
Green woods, farewell, where the small birds sang A choice, correct, sweet song; Farewell, all the song-chained groves, Each path where song would wander.
By William Phylip d. 1670
translated by Tony Conran
Information: The title is technically ‘A Leave-Taking of Hendre Fechan, his home‘. There is a holiday cottage, inTal-y-bont, dating back to 1616 with the name Hendre Fechan. I can’t confirm if it is the same location alluded to in the poem but it is very coincidental if not.