Translated from the Welsh by Jon Stone
THEMESONG FROM COCK
(Translation of Cwydd y Gal)
Dear God, penis. Clearly, I’ll have to keep
an eye on you, and a hand when I sleep.
Don’t look at me like that, you bone-brained stalk;
after last night, there’s too much at stake.
Quill to the cunt’s inkwell you may well be,
but you need muzzling, so that the acrimony
you’ve stoked in others is never repeated.
Do you hear, arch-distractor? I want you fettered.
You’re nothing but an ugly, uneven rolling pin
with a bagpipe attachment. Stop that careening,
you gift-wrapped shocker of decent women,
you groin-stuck nut-pole, you booby-trapped swing,
you gander in one year’s tufty plumage,
you wetted stump who gasps milk, you crude homage
to a shoot with her bud. Not one more twitch,
you cursed baton, you crooked clutch
who dreams to be the axle of a girl’s two halves,
you eel with a blowhole, you stick shorn of leaves.
So you want to be longer than a stout femur,
cat burgler and chiseller of nights clad in amor,
a wizard’s staff, a leather-helmeted tail-chaser?
A crowbar to enter the vaults, arch-seducer
and briefcase clasp to a girl’s unguarded arse?
You’ve a pipe in your head, you dumb bratwurst,
a whistle that peeps every day like clockwork.
Your narrow eye thinks all girls worth a jerk.
You silly pestle, you telescopic missile,
you long to light a fire in each little pink vessel,
swear you’re her lap’s errant thatching needle.
But you’re a bell-less bell clapper, bow to a fiddle
long confiscated, bulging pod with hangers-on,
a single-nostrilled nose forever unblown,
skin-sleeved and ball-ballasted, stupid with bliss.
Damn it if you’re not a trouserful of filthiness,
a potato-knobbly goose neck, half-maniacal,
an incorrigible trickster and sordid barnacle,
a divining rod to lead me into serious trouble.
What about last night? Quite unforgivable.
Hang your head, you cane for planting children.
You’re out of control. I’m drawing a cordon,
since despite my warnings, you blood-hot flute,
you’re still rotten from crown to untraceable root.
DAFYDD AP GWILYM (c. 1315/1320 – c. 1350/1370), is regarded as one of the leading Welsh poets and amongst the great poets of Europe in the Middle Ages.
About the Translator:
JON STONE was born in Derby and currently lives in Whitechapel, London. He is co-creator of the multi-format arts journal Fuselit and micro-anthology publishers Sidekick Books. He won a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award in 2012 and his collection, School of Forgery (Salt, 2012) is a Poetry Book Society Summer Recommendation. He works as a court transcript editor.