A Poem By Mererid Hopwood

‘Wedi Cad Coludd ar Ddrain’

The wind that shakes the memory tree wakes me.

It tears the flesh from the carcass of the mare that rides my night,

And howling, hurls it, skin and meat,

to dress the wounded branches, furious fright,

beside the entrails of my brother,

my father, my sister, my mother.

For there is no foreigner

no alien, no other.

This is the mercy of memory.

And then before me, bold, bright, 

dawn’s first blade slits the day open–

and unforgotten

the tree now sliced with light’s clean knife

shows me how it grieves for the leaves of life.

Mererid Hopwood is Professor of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth and secretary of Academi Heddwch Cymru. She has spent her career studying and teaching languages and literature. She won the Chair and Crown for poetry and the Prose Medal at the National Eisteddfod, as well as the Welsh Book of the Year Prize in the poetry category for her collection Nes Draw. She has been Children’s Laureate for Wales and takes great pleasure in writing books for children. She has worked with many musicians and composers in Wales and abroad. This year she will receive the Hay Festival Medal for Poetry.

Mae Mererid Hopwood yn Athro’r Gymraeg ac Astudiaethau Celtaidd yn Aberystwyth ac yn ysgrifennydd Academi Heddwch Cymru. Treuliodd ei gyrfa yn astudio a dysgu ieithoedd a llenyddiaeth. Enillodd Gadair, Coron a Medal Ryddiaith yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol a Gwobr Llyfr y Flwyddyn, categori barddoniaeth, am ei chyfrol Nes Draw. Bu’n fardd plant Cymru ac mae wrth ei bodd yn llunio llyfrau plant. Mae wedi gweithio gyda nifer o gerddorion a chyfansoddwyr yng Nghymru a thramor. Eleni bydd hi’n derbyn Medal Gŵyl y Gelli am Farddoniaeth.