Awen and Awenydd in Angar Kyfundawt

Here’s an excerpt from the discussion we had last week on the role of the awenydd and awen, at this point in the conversation from the perspective of The Book of Taliesin poem ‘Angar Kyfundawt’.

My translation of the beginning of the poem is below. As I explained in this series of blog posts a few years back, it’s a bit different to Marged Haycock’s translation in Legendary Poems from The Book of Taliesin. 

If you’d like to sit this 12 week course in September 2019, there are still places left so do get in touch. You can find out more about the course on the celticsource.online website.

Angar Kyfundawt, lines 1 – 39:

The poet — here he is!

I’ve [already] sung what he may sing.

Let him sing [only] when

the sage has drawn to a close wherever he may be.

A generous one who refuses me

will never get anything to give.

Through the language of Taliesin

[will come] the profit of manna.

When Cian died

his retinue was numerous.

Until death it shall be obscure

Afagddu’s declamation:

skilfully he brought forth

speech in metre.

Gwion utters

[and a] deep one will come;

he [Gwion] would bring the dead to life,

and [yet] he is poor.

They [Afagddu and Gwion] would make their cauldrons

that were boiling without fire;

they would work their materials

for ever and ever.

Passionately will song be brought fourth

by the deep, profound speaker.

Hostile is the confederacy [of opposing bards];

what is its custom?

[Since] such a great amount of the nation’s poetry

was on your tongues

why don’t you declaim a declamation,

a flow above the shining drink?

When everyone’s separated out

I’ll come with a song,

[I’m] a deep one who became flesh:

there has come a conqueror,

one of the three judges in readiness.

For sixty years

I endured solitude

in the water gathered in a band [around the earth],

[and] in the lands of the world.

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