Column 25

This poem makes you work to put the pieces together and end up with a translation of the evocative title; in doing so it tells a story about love and loss without wasting a single word. It’s from Paul McGrane’s collection Elastic Man, published by Indigo Dreams.

Nos Da Cariad
for mam

Nos is the Welsh word for Night.
Its sound is in sorrow and ghost.
Da, meaning Good in translation,
resounds in departure, apart.
There’s a sadness in Cariad
that echoes through leaving and grief.
It is our strongest word for Love.


Used with kind permission of Paul McGrane and Indigo Dreams Publishing Limited.