Sunday, 4 June 2017

Tabm a Gernow 104 (St Nectan's Well)

An Dowr Trevillet

The River Trevillet
at St Nectan’s Well

This poem by Dorothy Coventon, who lives near Looe, was awarded 2nd prize in the 2013 Charles Causley poetry competition. Translation into Late Cornish by Janice Lobb.

Pecar del via ponya, hag adheracty hy honan,
ma’n awon o trefya-scrija dres an lehen,
garma liv e’n tunner killas dû,
ha tredna dhe vason carrek üjy
o scullya dowr tardha
war altar an venten
o whetha en còsel.
As if running, and before herself,
the river spit-screams over the ledge,
shouts a spate into the black slate funnel,
and roars to a rock basin that
pours breaking water
onto the quietly breathing altar
of the well.

Hebask ew hei lebmen
ma hy fadellik golow-mirour o tastewidnya
an bramol Downensek Diwedhes. Ma gwedh egina
o qwreydha lebma an edhnow a’s droppyas,
aga scorrow truedhek tollwiskys
en snodow cabmdhavas whans-ha-galar
gerys ena dhe gevarwodha
pejadow hanajys.
She’s still now
her light-mirror saucer reflects
the Late Devonian dome. Sprouting trees
root where the birds dropped them,
their supplicant branches disguised
in wish – and – grief – rainbow ribbons,
left there to guide
whispered prayers.


Ma gwris o conjorya war estyl slink.
Ma pedry pronter amethyst o haylya Maria
war delkyow sehys sycamor.
Ma spiris glas o còrtos en mar lelder
reb bottel bian heb ebil –
wheg perfumys kens-
gorherys gen kewny, o posa
war dhelow, a vowes mar danow
en fram stanch, ma war neb cor 
o qwitha segh hy hov.

Crystals implore on slippery ledges.
An amethyst rosary hails Mary
on dried Sycamore leaves.
A blue elf waits in such devotion
by a small moss covered –
once fragrant -
unstopped bottle, that leans
on an icon, of a girl so thin
in a waterproof frame, that somehow
keeps her memory dry.

Lent ew an poll dhe hepcor,
ma’n gwedh, snodow, ha dorgel howlvrith
o còrtos lel dh’y golow-mirour
o terneyja war vily lebm
ha bathow üvel,
amovys gans an wurnel
ha’n Sans heb pedn
eus o kerdhes y dhowr dhe’n mor.   
The pool is slow to let go,
trees, ribbons, and sun-rayed dome
stay devoted to its light – mirror
levitating on keen pebbles
and humble coins,
agitated by the undertow
and the headless Saint
that walks its water to the sea

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