Memories of Resolven from Barry Britzman

Barry is in back row 3rd from R in this photo of the Resolven Youth Rugby team who won the District Youth Cup in 1955

Barry still writes poetry and was kind enough to share the following poems with us :-

So Small a Nation

Mor Fach Gwlad

For St David’s Day 2022

Barry S Britzman February 2022

What was it that the invaders feared

in their attempts to subdue it?

from so small a nation,

and, so few a people,

that over the span of two thousand years

they built and fortified hundreds of castles,

among them the mightiest castles in Europe

Caernarfon, Beaumaris,

Conwy, and Harlech

Cardiff, Caerphilly,

Coity and Flint,

Builth, Blaenllynfi

Abergavenny, and Aberystwyth

Abertawe, Ystumllwynarth and Nedd,

yet still the proud cry from the people is heard

“Ond, ry’n ni yma o hyd”

Acknowledgements to Dafydd Iwan.

Said to be the most castellated nation in Europe, there was once, more than 600 castles

in Wales, a castle to every 13 square miles. There now remain 427. Among the castles built

or rebuilt by Edward I: were Aberystwyth, Beaumaris, Builth, Caernarfon, Conwy, Flint,

Harlech, and Rhuddlan among the Welsh castles captured and repaired by Edward I: were

Castell y Bere, Criccieth, Dolwyddelan and Caergwrle.

~ ~

The following is Barry reminiscing of a favourite viewing point of his, the derelict farm ‘Henllan’ above Melincourt.

No Other Sound

Barry S Britzman January 2022

No other sound

is ever heard here

save that of the birds

and the soft breeze

as it weaves through the grasses

and nearby trees,

as I sit alone in silence here

to hear and to listen

to the unwritten,

unwritable, musical

language of trees,

murmuring the hushed

opening movements

of Henllan’s arboreal symphonies –

as the setting sun bathes

in its soft rosy light

the banks and rockfaces

displayed here in sight,

where silhouetted, in silent defiance,

old stunted oaks, standing

deep-rooted in rocks,

still strive to maintain their unceasing fight,

while I sit in peace this evening here,

only to hear, and to listen

to the unwritten, unwritable,

musical language of trees.

~ ~ ~ ~