The Tenant Farm of John Jones (Pen yr Heol Fach)

I wrote some poetry in memory of John Jones as in the Third Book of Poetry, both in Welsh and English. For more than a hundred and fifty years, his family were victims of an evil tenant farming system which should be abolished. The Estate refused to let him buy the farm several times, and refused to allow the local farmers to rent it or buy it. He had a distinguished war service, but that made no difference to the greed ridden Estate. In consequence the farm was turned into a dog kennel with a couple of people to look after it. These had no knowledge of the Welsh language or culture. The dogs were very dangerous, and fouled up the garden of the old farm into a patch of mud which stank like a pigsty. The dogs attacked me several times as I walked along the road (a right of way) next to the garden, where they were kept, but could not get over the fence. They smashed at the fence with their front feet, and were almost as tall as I am. They used to snarl and stand on their back feet, with savage jaws and teeth within inches of my throat. They never got near enough to inflict a wound. Now those tenants have gone, to be replaced by another monoglot tenant, a decent person but one who knows nothing about Mawr. The Government of Wales must make such activities illegal by setting up Broydd Iaith. If this goes on much longer the Welsh language will be entirely destroyed in Mawr and all over Wales. The London Government cares nothing for the Welsh language or People. The delicate fabric of memory and history has also been severely damaged. People appear at random in Mawr form all over the place, because there is no protection for culture. I recall as much of it as I can in Autobiography Volume One, already a classic read all over the world. All of this is completely illegal, the destruction of a language is an appalling violation of human rights, and those responsible for it have destroyed the language. So they are more than metaphorically excommunicate and anathema from the communion of civilization. That is like the Greeks destroying their own Parthenon.


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