R. S. Thomas

R. S. Thomas
Förgäves ser han upp
mot den dödstysta hunger,
som kallas rymden; tål-
modigt betraktar han
vårens knoppar: de öppnas,
plötsliga skrik, som stelnar
till blomma. Det gäller
att vänta. I november
går han fram till
fönstret. Ja, landskapet
syns igen. Sommaren
var bara dess passerande
Gösta Ågren

from En dal i våldet. Poesin 1955-1985 i urval (Stockholm: Norstedts, 1990)

Reproduced by permission of the author and translators.
R. S. Thomas
In vain he looks up
at the dead-silent hunger
that is called space; pat-
iently he contemplates
the spring's buds: they open,
sudden cries that freeze
to flowers. It is a matter of
waiting. In November
he goes over to the
window. Yes, the landscape
is visible again. The summer
was only its transient
R. S. Thomas
Yn ofer y sylla
fry ar y mudandod mawr
o’r enw ‘gofod’. Ystyria flagur y gwanwyn
yn ei amynedd: agorant,
yn gri sydyn sy’n rhewi’n flodau.
Aros biau hi. Ym mis Tachwedd
â draw at y ffenest. Ydi,
mae’r wlad I’w gweld unwaith eto. Dim ond ei chnawd
byrhoedlog oedd yr haf.
translated by Elin ap Hywel
R. S. Thomas
Forgæves ser han op
mod den dødsstille sult,
som kaldes rummet; tål-
modigt betragter han
forårets knopper: de åbnes,
pludselige skrig, som stivner
til blomst. Det gælder om
at vente. I november
går han hen til
vinduet. Ja, landskabet
ses igen. Sommeren 
var bare dets passerende
Gösta Ågren

Gösta Ågren was born in 1936 in Ostrobothnia, the Swedish-speaking part of northern Finland. He founded an important Ostrobothnian writers’ co-operative publishing house in 1973, drawing attention to the cultural isolation of the Finland-Swedish minority. He has written over 30 books, and won the prestigious Finlandia Prize in 1989 for his collection Jär (Here).
His poetry looks inward to the traditions of Finland-Swedish modernism, and outwards to contemporary English-language poetry, particularly that of R.S. Thomas. His selected poems have been translated as A Valley in the Midst of Violence (1992) by David McDuff.

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Elin ap Hywel

Elin ap Hywel, born in 1962 in Colwyn Bay, is a poet, translator and editor who works in Welsh and English. Formerly a translator for the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, she was the Royal Literary Fund's first bilingual Fellow at the University of Wales. Ffinau/Borders (Gomer, 2002), a volume of original poems and translations from the Welsh, is a collaboration with fellow poet Grahame Davies.

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