Posted by: brigid benson | March 25, 2014

Postcard from: Porth Y Swnt Centre of Coastal Excellence

Aberdaron, wild west Wales

Aberdaron, wild west Wales

The Welsh Government celebrates three centres of coastal excellence; Swansea Bay, Pembrokeshire and Aberdaron, where the new National Trust visitor centre Porth Y Swnt opens on March 28.

Named in a competition won by local schoolgirl Elliw Jones Evans. Porth Y Swnt translates as Gateway to the Sound, an evocative name in keeping with the unspoiled landscape. Aberdaron is the gateway to Bardsey Sound, the treacherous passage to Ynys Enlli, or Bardsey Island.

Glorious daffodils; , the national flower of Wales

Glorious daffodils, the national flower of Wales

The wild Welsh LLyn peninsula is hugely inspirational. Here priest poet RS Thomas wrote haunting verse about his vulnerability, struggles with faith and deep connection to land and sea.

Thomas is among my favourite poets and I was hugely privileged to receive permission from his family to include his poem The Other in my book 52 Weekends by the Sea.

photo

On a recent visit to Porth Y Swnt, builders were busy with finishing touches ahead of the grand opening on March 28 2014.

Set in stone: Sion and Mike fix firmly poetry at the door

Set in stone: Sion and Mike fix firmly slabs of poetry at the threshold of Porth Y Swnt

Evocative poetry at the threshold of Porth y Swnt

The poem ‘Aberdaron’ by Cynan

I suspect many visitors will share the sense of longing and devil-may-care rebellion expressed by Sir (Albert) Cynan Evans-Jones CBE,  known simply as Cynan, in the Porth Y Swnt threshold poem Aberdaron.

Here the first verse in Welsh, followed by a translation of the  full poem in English.

Aberdaron

Pan fwyf yn hen a pharchus

Ac arian yn fy nghod,
A phob beirniadaeth drosodd
A phawb yn canu ‘nghlod
Mi brynaf fwthyn unig
Heb ddim o flaen y ddôr.
Ond creigiau Aberdaron
A thonnau Gwyllt y Môr

Aberdaron 

When I am old and honoured

With silver in my purse

All criticism over

All men singing my praise

I will purchase a a lonely cottage

With nothing facing its door,

But the cliffs of Aberdaron

And the wild waves on the shore

 

For there I will discover

In the stormy wind and its cry

Echoes of the Old rebellion

My soul knew in days gone by

And I will sing with the old passion

While gazing through the door

At the cliffs of Aberdaron

And the wild waves on the shore

The landscape of poets; Aberdaron

The landscape of poets; Aberdaron


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