Y LLYFRGELL // THE LIBRARY

Mae Cartref lle mae're galon

Dwi'n gorfod byw fan hyn

Pell yw fy nghalon o'ma

Dan glwm o rwymau tynn.

 

Cartref, yr olewyddlan

Yr ardd a'r bwthyn clyd

Y teulu annwyl, agos

Y pentre'n gyfanfyd.

 

Arhosa ‘nghalon yno

Heb dychwel nol ar gael

Deng mlynedd nawr ar drigain

Ers diarddeliad gwael.

 

Dos, galon, hedfan

Uwchben y muriau mawr

Dros oesoedd o wahaniad

Ble cei di ddod i lawr?

 

Yr unig rhai sy'n cofio,

Eu hun, ein pentre ni

'Mond plant yr adeg yno

Nawr taid a nain i mi.

 

Mewn lle dros dro gwersyllu,

Yn byw o ddydd i ddydd,

A'r gobaith ein calonnau

Mynd adre - eiddil ffydd!

 

Dos, galon, hedfan

Uwchben y muriau mawr

Dros oesoedd o wahaniad

Ble cei di ddod i lawr?

 

Dos, galon, hedfan

A’r gwynt yn chwythu’n rhydd.

O galon fach hiraethus

Yn rhydd ar esgyll ffydd

Ble Cei Di Ddod i Lawr?

Behind the song - Anna Georgina

(Where Can You Alight?)

I wrote Ble Cei Di Ddod i Lawr? for every refugee, but especially for the Palestinians who were violently forced to leave their homes in the Nakba – the Disaster – of 1948.   So many families left carrying their house keys, in the hope of going back before long.  “Home is where the heart is” the song says, even if your heart’s home is far away.  “Where can the heart find rest?” asks the chorus – the spirit is free to fly where it will but has nowhere to alight.

There were two things in particular that inspired me.  One was some dolls I bought which were dressed in the traditional embroideries of some of the villages which had suffered in the Nakba – a way of keeping in remembrance the traditions of communities which had been destroyed. 

 

The other thing was a friend speaking of her grandmother – as an Armenian she and her husband had to flee from Turkey in 1915.  Although she brought her children up in France, no other place could truly be home for her for the rest of her life.  I realised that refugees who are forced from their homes can carry the scars for the rest of their lives.

Artwork: Ffion Pritchard

Between 1925 and 1930 my father, Derwas, studied and worked in Palestine – an experience which changed his life for ever. He spent weeks exploring the country, receiving hospitality in villages and Bedouin tents or from shepherds chance-met by the way.

 

During the same time my mother, Mary Kitson Clark, was a member of an all-woman archaeological team digging on Mount Carmel.  She visited the excavation of a monastery which was taking place in the Judaean Wilderness, and there she met my father for the first time.  Her five months in Palestine were an unforgettable experience which she often talked about.

My mother (centre) on the Mount Carmel dig

I am so glad that my parents have not had to see how much the situation in Palestine has deteriorated in the past decades.  While many Palestinians have fled their native land, and live as refugees throughout the Middle East and in Europe and America, there are still many refugee camps in Palestine itself.  The Monastery which my father so lovingly excavated is no longer in the wilderness, but in the middle of an Israeli settlement. 

 

The land of Palestine remained near to the hearts of both my parents as long as they lived, and they passed that love on to me.  I try to do my part as a volunteer for the charity Embrace the Middle East, which works with partners not only in Palestine/Israel, but also in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq – partners who support the most vulnerable people – children, women, the disabled – of any background – with education, medical care and vocational training.  

See www.embraceme.org for more information.

The herd among the olive trees (photo by my father)

Ble Cei Di Ddod i Lawr?

(Where Can You Alight?)

Home is where the heart is 

Here’s where I have to live. 

My heart is far from here, 

Knotted by tight bonds. 

 

Home!  The olive grove 

The garden and cosy little house, 

The dear, close family, 

The village our universe. 

 

My heart is still there, 

With no return to be had 

Now ten years and threescore 

Since the vile expulsion. 

 

Go, heart, fly  

Above the great walls 

Over ages of separation  

Where can you alight? 

 

The only ones who remember, 

Themselves, our village, 

Only children at the time, 

Now Grandfather and Grandmother to me. 

 

Camping in a temporary place, 

Living from day to day 

And the hope of our hearts 

To go home – fragile faith. 

 

Go, heart, fly  

Above the great walls 

Over ages of separation  

Where can you alight? 

 

Go, heart, fly 

And the wind blowing free 

O homesick little heart, full of longing, 

Free on the wings of faith. 

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