Hon (This) T.H. Parry Williams

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Hon (This) T.H. Parry Williams

Postby Amadeus » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:26 pm

T.H. Parry Williams (1887-1975) was a lyrical poet, writer, and University Professor, and is considered to be one of the greatest Welsh poets of all time. His most famous poem 'Hon' offers a stark contrast to other Welsh poets of his time, in that in a time of searching for the 'Welsh way', questioning of the relevence of Welsh culture, and the blame for the country's problems falling on the Saeson (English), Parry-Williams shows how sometimes problems can be closer to home, and generated by ourselves in bitterness at one's history. Interestingly, this is a key theme in the works of a later lyrical poet - Seamus Heaney, who expounds that the damage that has been done to Ireland at the hands of the English is in the past, and it is now indeed the Irish themselves whom are causing more problems. Also of interest is the fact that word 'Hon' is used in a feminine way, suggesting that Wales is female, and Engand is male, which is reminiscient of 'Rape of the Fair Country', and also again of Seamus Heaney, who identifies Ireland as feminine, and England as masculine.

The eleven couplets of Iambic Heptameter have been lost in this translation.

Hon

Beth yw’r ots gennyf i am Gymru? Damwain a hap
Yw fy mod yn ei libart yn byw. Nid yw hon ar fap

Yn ddim byd ond cilcyn o ddaear mewn cilfach gefn,
Ac yn dipyn o boendod i’r rhai sy’n credu mewn trefn.

A phwy sy’n trigo’n y fangre, dwedwch i mi.
Dim ond gwehilion o boblach? Peidiwch, da chwi

 chlegar am uned a chenedl a gwlad o hyd;
Mae digon o’r rhain, heb Gymru, i’w cael yn y byd.

Rwyf wedi alaru ers talm ar glywed grwn
Y Cymry bondigrybwyll, yn cadw swn.

Mi af am dro, i osgoi eu lleferydd a’i llên,
Yn ôl i’m cynefin gynt, a’m dychymyg yn drên.

A dyma fi yno. Diolch am fod ar goll
Ymhell o gyffro geiriau’r eithafwyr oll.

Dyma’r Wyddfa a’i chriw; dyma lymder a moelni’r tir;
Dyma’r llyn a’r afon a’r clogwyn; ac, ar fy ngwir,

Dacw’r ty lle’m ganed. Ond wele, rhwng llawr a ne’
Mae lleisiau a drychiolaeth ar hyd y lle.

Rwy’n dechrau simsanu braidd; ac meddaf i chwi,
Mae rhyw ysictod fel petai’n dod drosof i;

Ac mi glywaf grafangau Cymru’n dirdynnu fy mron.
Duw a’m gwaredo, ni allaf ddianc rhag hon.


This

What do I care of Wales? It is by accident and chance
That I am living here freely. She isn't on a map

And is nothing but a piece of land in a hidden creek,
And a bit of a nuisance to those who believe in order.

And who dwells in this place? tell me.
Who but the dregs of its people? Make sure you don't

Cackle about unities and nations and countries all the time:
There are enough of those without Wales, to have in this world.

I have surfeited for some time with all this groaning.
The Welsh, high and mighty, making their noise.

I go for a walk, to avoid their speeches and literature,
Back to familiarity, with my imagination amiss.

And now I am there. Thank you for being lost
And far from the excitement of their extremist words.

This is Snowdon and its crew; this is the sharpness and the baldness of the land;
This is the lake and the river and the cliff; and upon my word

This is the place of my birth. But look, between Earth and heaven
There are voices and spectres all over the place.

I'm starting to become unsteady now; and I'll say to you,
There is some weariness washing over me;

And I can hear Wales' claws torturing my breast.
God save me, for I cannot leave this place



Gareth
Last edited by Amadeus on Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hon (This) T.H. Parry Williams

Postby David » Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:21 am

I've been meaning to come back to this and, lo and behold, it's Saturday morning, no-one else is downstairs yet, so maybe I can get to it. I'll just nip off and get another cup of coffee.

The introduction has an academic feel to it. Is that its provenance? Very interesting, though, and I like the parallel with Heaney.

Typ corner - noting, speaches.

I think something of a pain hits a falsely modern chatty note. That may be what he said, but you have to be aware that it has a different sound in modern ears.

Is he generally known, Gareth, or is he very much a Welsh thing? I think you've done a good job on this translation (as it appears in English - I have of course no opinion at all on its faithfulness to the original); it's an act of respect and admiration that speaks well of you.

Of course, what would be even more interesting would be if you could express your own thoughts, in your own words, on the Welshness of things.

I enjoy your occasional incursions into the fray. I wish you'd make them less occasional.

Cheers

David
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Re: Hon (This) T.H. Parry Williams

Postby Amadeus » Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:21 pm

David - Thank you very much for your feedback.

The introduction has an academic feel to it. Is that its provenance? Very interesting, though, and I like the parallel with Heaney.


The introduction was just something I devised specially for putting up this translation. After studying Heany into some depth, up on studying T.H. Parry Williams, I noticed some interesting parallels. I guess given the fact that the two poets are essentially coming from the same perspetive of their bckground, things may inevitaby overlap.

Typ corner - noting, speaches.


Sorry, this is going to be me sounding stupid, but I don't understand haha.

I think something of a pain hits a falsely modern chatty note. That may be what he said, but you have to be aware that it has a different sound in modern ears.


Hmm yes, I see what you mean ow upon reflection. The literal translation reads "And a bit of a nuisance....." whch I think actually does sound more authentic. I changed it as I was attemping to keep the heptameter, but later decided against it.

Is he generally known, Gareth, or is he very much a Welsh thing? I think you've done a good job on this translation (as it appears in English - I have of course no opinion at all on its faithfulness to the original); it's an act of respect and admiration that speaks well of you.


A bit of bth really. He is very well respected in Welsh Literature, and generally regarded as one of the greatest of the Welsh poets. He was actually the first poet to win the double Chair and Crown at the Natonal Eisteddfod. As well as his literary works, he was a brilliant scholar, and was awarded D.Litt. degrees by the Universities of Wales and Oxford, and was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Wales, and made an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. In 1958 he received a Knighthood. Generally though, he is quite exclusively Welsh, due to his Welsh language output.

Of course, what would be even more interesting would be if you could express your own thoughts, in your own words, on the Welshness of things.


Yes, interesting Idea. I shall return later and do so.

I enjoy your occasional incursions into the fray. I wish you'd make them less occasional.


Thank you David. I appreciate that. Unfortunately, due to work and general life, I very rarely get time to make my visits anythng more than occasional. However, as a stroke of luck, I will be spending more time around the computer in these next few months as I have been commissioned to write a pantomime for next year. So perhaps I'll be making more frequent visits :)

Regards

Gareth
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Re: Hon (This) T.H. Parry Williams

Postby David » Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:37 pm

Amadeus wrote:
Typ corner - noting, speaches.


Sorry, this is going to be me sounding stupid, but I don't understand haha.

Nah, it's just you spelt "nothing" and "speeches" wrong. It was supposed to be "Typo corner", but it came out as "Typ", and I left it because I thought it was quite funny. Nothing more profound than that!

A pantomime, eh? Bunch of bloody cross-dressers. You be careful with that stuff.

Cheers

David
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Re: Hon (This) T.H. Parry Williams

Postby Amadeus » Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:55 pm

David wrote:
Amadeus wrote:
Typ corner - noting, speaches.


Sorry, this is going to be me sounding stupid, but I don't understand haha.

Nah, it's just you spelt "nothing" and "speeches" wrong. It was supposed to be "Typo corner", but it came out as "Typ", and I left it because I thought it was quite funny. Nothing more profound than that!

A pantomime, eh? Bunch of bloody cross-dressers. You be careful with that stuff.

Cheers

David


Ah right haha. Damn me and my bad English! Thanks for that!

Hey thats nothing. I've played Dr Frankenfurter in Rocky Horror once! It was cold :( :oops:

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Re: Hon (This) T.H. Parry Williams

Postby cameron » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:25 am

Hi Amadeus,

I've just been looking at the PG web stats and I thought you might like to know that this poem is getting hundreds and hundreds of hits. I just tried putting 'Hon T H' etc into Google and it comes up first.

Obviously a significant poem.

Thanks for posting.

C
"And I meet full face on dark mornings
The bestial visor, bent in
By the blows of what happened to happen."

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Re: Hon (This) T.H. Parry Williams

Postby Amadeus » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:23 pm

Cheers for the info Cam

Regards
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