Monday, March 1, 2021

Bobi Jones

Bobi Jones (1929―2017) is a Welsh-language poet, and very much a Welsh nationalist. Many of his poems are portraits of personified rural landscapes, and portraits of common rural folk. Although he was passionate about his evangelical faith ― writing a regular column for a Welsh-language magazine about the Christian heritage within Welsh literature ― his poetry usually remains earthbound in its focus.

In his academic career Robert Maynard Jones was chair in Welsh Language at Aberystwyth University. He is one of the most prolific writers in the history of the Welsh language.

The following poem was translated into English by Joseph P. Clancy, and is from the collection Right as Rain.

Michelangelo’s Three Vocations

Often, confronting the hard, he would haul away
-----(by shelling the deceitful covering) a hidden
person from the rock. He discovered Creation by quarrying
-----and destroying the bad. A way once closed would open.

Often, when he confronted the soft, he would put
-----something extra where flesh and blood were lacking
on the limp canvas. He would interpret the Creation
-----by adding living being through a dash of paint.

But the essence of both would have been unseen, had their sound
-----not been shaped by a sonnet. He confessed there would have been
no way for the one or the other, the subtraction or the addition,
-----to come to life from the depths of their deaths
had the resurrection by the undying Word not turned
-----his words to living love through the grave's Creation.

This post was suggested by my friend Burl Horniachek.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.