(for the reopening ceremony of Yr Ysgwrn, 6 September 2017)

Because he would never come back 

from the mud to this grey byre, 

he would not stand, fork in hand, 

pitching the hay through the upper door 

like a shower of sun. 


He would not stand between these posts 

amidst the heat and dust, 

fashioning the rich like a weighty ode, 

raking its sides, ready for winter. 


And throughout those shortened days, 

he would not dip into the summer he’d banked, 

to feed the cows chained here, 

nor see the warm rise from their flanks, 

their breath like flowers in the dark. 


And because he would not come back, 

he would never walk up to the house 

where an empty chair long awaited him, 

although he’d stooked his poems 

across these fields. 


Ifor ap Glyn
Bardd Cenedlaethol Cymru | National Poet of Wales

(This is a poem commissioned by Snowdonia National Park to note the reopening of Yr Ysgwrn, home of poet Hedd Wyn, to the public in September 2017. English translation by Ifor ap Glyn.)

Back to Ifor ap Glyn: National Poet of Wales 2016 – 2022