THE THOUSAND FACES OF MY COUNTRY

As many Brittanies as Bretons
For each Breton his Brittany.
His pocket Brittany.
Oh Brittany my Country! each one sings,
From the Folklorist to the Nationalist.
Yes, there are innumerable Brittanies.
It’s useless trying to count.
For him, Brittany is the sanctuaries.
For another it’s the music of the Biniou, (1)
Light folklore-stuff and dances,
For another it’s the great stones of Carnac
The stone table at Seven Saints, the menhir at Pergat.
For her it’s the lace coiffes
And the embroidered vests,
For another it’s the pottery of Quimper,
For this artist it’s the sculpted furniture,
For this teacher the books, the records,
The national symbols,
–Paper Brittany!–
For this Poet it’s the deep paths, the heath,
The heather, the golden broom,
The forests singing, the sea rumbling.
For the economist the level sluice-gates
The factories, the fishing boats,
The cauliflower and the … strawberries!
And Brittany of the Druids?
And Brittany of the Politicians?

My Brittany for me is not a pocket Brittany.
My Brittany is one and whole,
My Brittany is earth, sea and sky,
My Brittany is Soul, body, and Spirit
And the heart of my people…
My Brittany is her heroes of yesterday,
Her heroes of today,
And heroes of tomorrow,
Immortal Brittany!

November 1969.

(1) A type of bagpipe.

Translated by Lenora Timm

This poem in breton





« »