Iron in the Soul ~ Warrior of Llyn

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I have been a multitude of shapes
Before I assumed a consistent form.
I have been a sword, narrow, variegated,
I have been a tear in the air,
I have been in the dullest of stars.
I have been a word among letters,
I have been a book in the origin.
From a translation of the Welsh medieval text of The Book of Taliesin, a sixth century Welsh bard and courtly singer.



It is said that the Iron Man of Mynydd Tir y Cwmwd sings in the wind. I can believe it too: bold laments of long ago battles, a proud Celtic warrior fending off invading Roman governors and power-hungry English kings. Sadly, the cause was lost on both fronts, although at least these days Cymru,* Wales, has its own Welsh Parliament, and Cymraeg, the Welsh language, is nurtured, learned in schools and spoken widely with great pride. And so it should be. It is one of the world’s wonderful languages, the words formed from the rush of sea on rocks, the wind whistling down from the heights of Yr Wyddfa** (Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain). Under past times of English domination much was done to stamp out the Welsh culture altogether. It is what invaders do – belittle, ban, override  heartfelt expressions of a conquered people’s culture.

{*roughly pronounced Kumree and **Ur Oithva}

You can read the rest of this earlier post about the Iron Man of Llanbedrog at Warrior Wind-Singer of Llyn

copyright 2015 Tish Farrell

This Sunday at Lost in Translation, Paula’s ‘Black & White’ word is ‘winding’. Please follow the link to take part her challenge and see more winding renditions.

24 thoughts on “Iron in the Soul ~ Warrior of Llyn

  1. Can’t think of a better angle to immortalise the Iron Man. Beautiful poetry too, Tish. I wonder if you have Welsh ancestors too? Thank you for another voyage into the past.

  2. Wonderful in B&W Tish. I love reading your posts, you are a terrific writer. I too think this might be female or at least hermaphrodite – with the bones and sinews portraying the strength of the warrior. I like the way (s)he stands guard over the land. And the way you describe the Welsh language //the words formed from the rush of sea on rocks, the wind whistling down from the heights of Yr Wyddfa// though I find Welsh very difficult to pronounce!

  3. Another beautiful and informative post, Tish. I never know what to expect when I come for a visit but I aways leave a bit more enlightened about the world in which we live. Thank you.

    1. What a lovely thing to say, John. Thank you. I must hop over to your place and see what’s cooking. I’m still tucking into the results of your last year’s homemade honey mustard. It’s delicious.

  4. I appreciate a lot your posts !
    They not only present wonderful pics , but also give me plenty of info, about places I’ve never visited!
    Thanks for the share…

  5. And I’m even later but I don’t care 🙂 🙂 Staggeringly lovely in black and white, Tish. The first line of the prose made me smile, and I was about to retort that I’ve been some funny shapes too. Then I realised where I was… in the land of Tish 🙂

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