Poems will not stop cancer:
it cannot be locked in rhyme,
or chained by cynghanedd.
Cancer is bigger than poetic fancy,
tpo busy colonising your body,
planting its impudent flags,
claiming the landscape – and distorting it,
raising up hills of hurt
where fields were flat before.
That wretch messes up maps,
like mushrooms mid-motorway,
perverting the natural order.
No, poems will not stop cancer;
but when our circus of research comes to town,
with our fire-eaters and trapeze scientists,
pitching our big top throughout your body
we can re-map everything,
drain seas of pain.
Imagination is part of our power:
we are the poets of hope
with healing verse,
restoring order, extending life,
juggling treatment with new research.
Ifor ap Glyn
Bardd Cenedlaethol Cymru | National Poet of Wales
(Commissioned by Wales Cancer Research Center to note World Cancer Day 2021. English translation by Ifor ap Glyn.)