Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Waldo William 'fields'

Waldo Williams's memorial stone

For the last few days I have trying to find time to write about Iola Morganwg, the 18th century 'archdruid' for the revival of Welsh druidry, unfortunately he created a myth with his translations and poems, a vivid reconstruction of a 'truth'.
But all the time another person nagged at my mind 'Waldo' who's stone monument I had seen on the moors below Carn Meyn in the Preseli mountains, so putting Iola aside for the time being, a quick note on Waldo Williams.
Williams when young lived in the village of Mynacholog-ddu and details of his biography can be found here.
The Preseli mountains has a very strong pull on my mind, its landscape and stones, the fields nestling below the mountains, the hundreds of sheep scattered on its slopes in summer, the beautiful loneliness of it all would lead to a life of contemplative ease. The great stone cairns of Foel Drygarn that sit above the village of Mynacholog-ddu are a stark reminder of the high office bronze age leaders were afforded in death, and the great crested stone ridge of Carn Meyn reminds us that such manifestations of our earth had enormous symbolism to the prehistoric people who lived here, and maybe transported some of the stones to Stonehenge.
So to his rather beautiful and famous poem, written in Welsh I believe, here it is translated from another website.

Those fields – I’ve walked across them - they are
Extraordinary fields, though inaccessible to the seeker
After transcendence this is no loss for the page
Holds them in view and they extend into the margins
Between field hedges and the nets of the Hunter

In many places and times where time
Is arrested and held captive by a tether
Of stillness long enough to feel chastened by silence.
Sunlight touches a wall on a summer afternoon,
Shadows enclose a moment which passes from forever

To forever: Such blessings are felt to be precious.
But hearing beyond them voices calling in a common
Tongue of work and worship echoing through centuries,
And knowing that they witness this moment
When all is still, so that being alone

Is to be with them, resonates beyond solitude.
Voices heard in the echoes of whistling lapwings
Tremble to life over empty meadows; each hand,
Each tongue unique in the passing of time yet fused
In a moment making one of many things.

Foel Drygarn with Carn Meyn in the distance

Gors Fawr stone circle

Foel or Moel Drygarn stone cairns

A marvellous, and dearly loved companion

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