Saturday, 20 August 2011

Hedd Wyn

Merilang Press is about to publish a collection of all known poems of Hedd Wyn, Ellis Evans, of Yr Ysgwrn in Trawsfynydd. He is famous as the Bardd y Gadair Ddu because he was killed in 1917 just a few weeks before his poem won the chair at the National Eiteddfod.
This project has been a lot of work as, not being a native speaker, I had to enlist the help of a friend to proof read the poems and then incorporate all her corrections into the formatted version. Fortunately my friend is not only a native speaker but also actually likes proof-reading.
A strange thing occured yesterday. I had been busy with other matters and then returned to computer to add the final pictures to the Hedd Wyn file and turned on the radio as I sat down. There was a poetry programme with poets reading their choice of poems by dead authors. One reader had just finished as I started to fix my file and the next poet announced, 'I am going to read a poem by Hedd Wyn.' And proceded to read Y Blotyn Du {The Black Spot] first in Welsh and then in translation. One really would not expect to hear on radio 4 at any time about a poet who wrote only in Welsh but for it to come on air just as I was putting finshing touches to his book is downright weird. Talk about coincidence!