fragments of an attempted writing.
Tap Root

The earth keeps the tap root of death

The flesh covering bones will rot,
or, if it does not, will remain
as stone relics
for antiquarians,
fragments of a city under heap.

The flesh of leaves will descend into oblivion,
blood filled limbs becoming clay,
veins of branches clotting coldly.

Without a root in the earth
death's finality is our death,
like snowflakes on a river's current, 
like the birds' designs in the sky:

There is no resurrection where there is no earth.

- Euros Bowen

Bowen was a Welsh poet of the Rhondda Valley.  His father was a Congregationalist minister, though Bowen became a priest in the Anglican Church.  He wrote this poem in Welsh, and this is his translation from the Welsh.  Bowen was strongly attracted to Eastern Christianity.  He twice won the crown at the National Eisteddfod.

1 comment:

  1. That is a great poem. Do you have (or can you link to) the Welsh original? My knowledge of Welsh is v. poor but I always think it's good to exercise it once in a while.

    I get the impression that there's a more traditional spirituality in some quarters of the Church In Wales than either in Welsh non-conformity or in the C of E itself. (ISTM that being "strongly attracted to Eastern Christianity" is often a hankering for a pre-modern spirituality. Whether or not the actual Eastern Church really answers that hankering is another question.) Wasn't RS Thomas also a Church In Wales priest?


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