Gwenllian - A poem by T James Jones

Translated by Jon Dressel from the Welsh original by T James Jones.
Published by kind permission of T James Jones and Jon Dressel.


(after seeing her, imaged as a hooded nun, in her unsculptured memorial stone in Sempringham)

We forgot, and confined her
to the convent yard,
and chastity's grave.

We forgot, and ordained her
to stare at stone walls
down windowless days.

We forgot, we barred and withered
her womb, denied her the ardor
of one white-tipped wave.

We forgot, and expelled her
to a place where no mountain,
or hill, breasts the sun.

We forgot, and condemned her
to die a loving mother
languishing unborn.

We will free her from remoteness
when we claim the key
that lets remembrance in.