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Welsh Landscape

 To live in Wales is to be conscious
At dusk of the spilled blood
That went into the making of the wild sky,
Dyeing the immaculate rivers
In all their courses.
It is to be aware, Above the noisy tractor And hum of the machine Of strife in the strung woods, Vibrant with sped arrows.
You cannot live in the present, At least not in Wales.
There is the language for instance, The soft consonants Strange to the ear.
There are cries in the dark at night As owls answer the moon, And thick ambush of shadows, Hushed at the fields' corners.
There is no present in Wales, And no future; There is only the past, Brittle with relics, Wind-bitten towers and castles With sham ghosts; Mouldering quarries and mines; And an impotent people, Sick with inbreeding, Worrying the carcase of an old song.
To live in Wales is to be conscious At dusk of the spilled blood That went into the making of the wild sky, Dyeing the immaculate rivers In all their courses.
It is to be aware, Above the noisy tractor And hum of the machine Of strife in the strung woods, Vibrant with sped arrows.
You cannot live in the present, At least not in Wales.
There is the language for instance, The soft consonants Strange to the ear.
There are cries in the dark at night As owls answer the moon, And thick ambush of shadows, Hushed at the fields' corners.
There is no present in Wales, And no future; There is only the past, Brittle with relics, Wind-bitten towers and castles With sham ghosts; Mouldering quarries and mines; And an impotent people, Sick with inbreeding, Worrying the carcase of an old song.

Poem by R S Thomas
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