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  Top » Catalog » Pages » Webzine
July 10: Cornish dialect poetry by Les Merton and Mick Paynter

Les Merton

Tha Bals Aar Knack’d

Gone aar tha daays
ov adventurers
avun shares an doles ov tin.

Naw gud prospecting now,
seams arn’t follow’d naw more
lodes aar ta be left weth en.

Gunnis aar tha scals
belongun ta learys now
theers not a skove ta keep.

Tha kibble’s scat,
launders smashed ta smithereens
an tha stulls aar burred deep.

Dags aar blunt,
ammers aar dun cobbing
an tha whims arn’t makin a sound.

Tulls es en museums,
touch pipes and crowst
aar memories underground.

Gud bye ta trunking,
tribute daays ar ovur
tha miner’s dun es last core.

Grass es naw greener,
an tha blawin house
es hungary fer ore.

Tha bals aar knack’d
an tis a cirtain shame
Cornish minun es naw more.


adventurers: those who have shares in a mine
bal: mine
dole: profit, riches
seams/lode: a vein of ore
gunnis:  an area where a lode has been worked
learys: remains of very old mine or stream workings
scals: section of ground
skove: a rich and pure lode
kibble: an iron bucket that goes up and down in a shaft
scat: broken
launders: guttering for the convayance of water
stulls: support timbers
dag: a mining axe
cobbing: breaking ore
whim: machine use for raising ore worked by steam, horse or water
tull: a miner’s hat
touch pipe: break for a smoke
crowst: lunch, snack
trunking: a process in tin dressing
tribute: pay in proportion to ore raised
core: a mining shift
blawin house: a place for melting tin

Les Merton is the editor of the anthology of Cornish dialect Thus Es Et, to be published by Francis Boutle Publishers in the autumn 2010. ISBN 978 1903427 58 3

> Email Francis Boutle Publishers for more details of this book


Mick Paynter

Keng Konner and the Haakish Maaid 

Theer wudn naw Saaints en ar cuntray.
Theer wudn naw godlay toll.
Theer wiz underdz up Welz, ovver Ayrlent
oo skoft et poer aythen Cornwall.
Maaid Eea flawted on a laif
ta braave tha bleddy saay
an brot tha werd ta godless sawlz
en Snives an Carbos Baay.
Ovr Ayl tha keng iv Konner Down
wiz angert, an ee sed,
“Shay abm bot naw licence”
an ee coot off er edd,
saw es ta tell they mounks an noons
thet caame acrosst the saay,
ta kaip tha goud nooz ta theerself
be bad nooz….
Or staay awaay. 

NB. the Hake is the totem of St.Ives but that's another story.


And translated into Cornish...

Konner Myghtern ha’n Vyrgh Dhensek

Nyns esa sen vydh y’gan bro ni,
Nyns esa tus gryjyek vydh oll,
Yth esa lies yn Kembra hag Iwerdhon
Dhe skonya’gan paganiedh mar drogh.
Y nijas Ia war dhelenn
Dhe dremena’n menedh mor
Ha dri an ger dhe dus heb Dhuw
Yn Porthia hag Porthreptor.
War Heyl myghtern a Gonnerton
O serrys, yn medh ev,
“Ny brenas hi hy hummyas hi”
Ha dibenna hi y hwrug eev
Rag leverel orth lies lenes ha menagh
Ow tones a dreus an Mor,
Gwitha’n nowodhow da na gansa i,
Bos nowodhow drog ....
po triga y’ga chi.

Mick Paynter is the Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorseth

Best Sellers
01.From Bow to Biennale
02.Cornwalls First Golden Age
03.The Old Red Tongue
05.Grains of Gold
06.Celebrating Pevsner
07.Surfing Tommies
08.The Way Back
09.Scoot Dances
10.Star in a Night Sky
Forthcoming Books
Featured Books
Regular Cornish language classes with Mick Paynter.

London. The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery permanent exhibition of women in medicine.

First Sunday of every month, Redruth. Shout with the Red River singers.

Second Wednesday of every month, Luxulyan. Prys Ton – Cornish Music Session.

Until 6 January 2018, Southend. Exhibition – From Mile End to Mayfair: The East London Group & their contemporaries.

until 17 December 2017, Bow, London. Exhibition – The Working Artist: The East London Group.

20 October 2017, Penryn, Cornwall. Cornish songs from the Red River Singers at the National Dialect Festival 2017.

20–22 October 2017, Penryn, Cornwall. National Dialect Festival 2017.

25 October 2017, Bangor Universoty. Cyflwyno The Old Red Tongue / Introducing The Old Red Tongue.

2 November 2017, St Columb Major, Cornwall. Hark! A talk about Cornish carols by Sally Burley and Hilary Coleman.

9 November 2017, Bodmin, Cornwall. Talk by Paul Holden on the architect Richard Coad.

16 November 2017, Liskeard, Cornwall. Paul Holden gives the Inaugural George Vaughan-Ellis RIBA Memorial Lecture.

26 November 2017, Heartlands, Cornwall. Red River Singers at the Weekend Market.

29 November 2017, London. Paul Holden talk on Princes to Paupers: portraiture in the Lanhydrock photographic collection.

14 December 2017, Bodmin, Cornwall. Shout at Picrous Night.

22 December 2017, St Day, Cornwall. Carols with the red River Singers and the Carharrack & St Day Silver Band.

24 December 2017, Tregajorran, Cornwall. Christmas Eve carols in the Square.

29 November 2017, London. Paul Holden talk on “Estate Mapping at its Finest”: the Lanhydrock Atlas, 1696.