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Last on

Sat 27 Oct 2012 23:30 BBC Radio 4

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 21 October 2012

Gwyneth Lewis, the first Welsh Poet Laureate whose giant words light up the front of the Wales Millennium Centre, has never been able to come to terms with the great Welsh language poet Dafydd ap Gwilym.

He's the Welsh equivalent of Chaucer or Shakespeare and has been hugely influential on contemporary Welsh poetry, from Dylan Thomas to the bardic competitions on Radio Cymru. But Gwyneth's teenage self found him sexist and laddish and a representative of a tradition she rebelled against.

As a Welsh language poet Gwyneth feels she can't avoid Dafydd any longer and needs to face him head on. She visits the ruined abbey at Strata Florida in West Wales where he worked and was buried, meets songwriter and former lead singer of Catatonia Cerys Matthews and Welsh poet and language activist Menna Elfyn, and goes in search of him in the poetry competitions at the National Eisteddfod of Wales. Actor Steffan Rhodri brings Dafydd ap Gwilym's poetry to life.

Gwyneth tries to come to terms with her heritage and learn to love Dafydd - and see if she can write a poem directly to him.

Producer: Allegra McIlroy.

  • Poems heard within the programme

    The Den/ Y Deildy extract

    By Dafydd ap Gwilym trans Gwyneth Lewis

    Read by Steffan Rhodri

     

    A Girl Taunts him for Cowardice/ Merch yn Edliw ei Lyfrdra extract

    By Dafydd ap Gwilym trans. Gwyneth Lewis

    Read by Steffan Rhodri

     

    The Gull / Yr Wylan extract

    By Dafydd ap Gwilym, trans Dafydd Johnston

    Read by Steffan Rhodri

     

    The Girls of Llambadan/ Merched Llanbadarn extract

    By Dafydd ap Gwilym, trans. Joseph P Clancy

    Read by Cerys Matthews

     

    The Penis/ Y Gal extract

    By Dafydd ap Gwilym, trans. James Doan

    Read by Cerys Matthews

     

    The Poet and the Grey Brother/ Y Bardd a'r Brawd Llwyd, extract

    By Dafydd ap Gwilym, trans. Nigel Heseltine

    Read by Cerys Matthews

     

    A Journey to Love/ Taith i Garu extract

    By Dafydd ap Gwilym trans. Gwyneth Lewis

    Read by Steffan Rhodri

     

    Strata Florida

    By Gwyneth Lewis

    Read by Gwyneth Lewis

     

    The Clock/ Y Cloc extract

    By Dafydd ap Gwilym trans by Joseph P Clancy

    Read by Menna Elfyn

     

    Morfudd

    By Gwyneth Lewis

    Read by Gwyneth Lewis

     

    Fern Hill extract

    By Dylan Thomas

    Read by Tudur Dylan Jones

     

    Trafferth mewn Tafarn/ Trouble in an Inn extract

    by Dafydd ap Gwilym

    Read by Tudur Dylan Jones

     

    Learning to Love Dafydd

    By Gwyneth Lewis

    Read by Gwyneth Lewis

     

    A Stubborn Girl/ Merch Gyndyn extract

    By Dafydd ap Gwilym trans. Gwyneth Lewis

    Read by Steffan Rhodri

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