Dydd Santes Dwynwen Hapus! – Happy Saint. Dwynwen Day.

25th January is the Welsh Valentines day. Celebrating Saint Dwynwen, and her dedication to lovers. Stori Santes Dwynwen is fascinating and you can read a lot more of it on the BBC’s website. Today I offer up a series of linked Englyn’s, following in Robertson Davies’ style, which you read more on here.

     In short Santes Dwynwen was the daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog, who fell in love with Maelon Dyfodrull. The two lovers planned to marry but Dwynwen’s father forbade it. After this Dwynwen prayed to be let out of her love, and Maelon was turned into ice. As the story continues, an angel appears to Dwynwen and gives her three wishes. She wishes for Maelon to be free, that she will never marry, and that she could spend her life helping anyone in pain through love.
   Dwynwen goes on to establish many Christian churches, along with her sister Cain and her brother Dyfnan. Dwynwen’s own church is off Anglesey, Llanddwyn, the remains of the church are still there and people still travel to it to pray to Dwynwen to help them with their love.
The Englyn is a short Welsh and Cornish poetic form, similar to that of the Haiku.

   Santes Dwynwen
Maelon, in your heart, do you still shiver,
from prayers icy dart
the angel of the river,
Brychan Brycheiniog’s temper?
Maybe you dream, with me, at Llanddwyn,
a swollen memory
Angelsey, or an omen
of what we should have known, then.
But now you have gone, with Dyfnan and Cain,
and our sublime bygone,
to another place and time.
Here. I, mother to love’s crime.

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