Friday, 21 December 2012

Hedd Wyn Update

Well the launch was a bit of a non-event as it was preceded by a morning public meeting at which the news was broken that The Welsh Assembly, The National Park and one or two others had bought Yr Ysgwrn and taken over responsibility for it.

The house had recently been completely under wrapps while acquiring a new roof. This was all supposed to be top secret but the bush telegraph here is very efficient. Anyway, I think it is a good move as it means that Gerallt no longer needs to attend to the farm. He has been ill so this is a good thing although he is getting better now. He will still be playing host to the public, as he promised his Nain he would till he died. Anyway, no one could possibly do it better.
The Hedd Wyn book got a mention on Radio Cymru on the bck of that and we sold some copies but then everyone went off to Yr Ysgwrn after lunch at the village hall and Emma, Debbie, myself and the two Phils had an afternoon mostly to ourselves feasting on Debbies wonderful tast titbits. We had three friends from Dolgellau for an hour and so Emma and I did our readings, Emma in Welsh and me in English. The only other visitors were several ladies in black returning from a funeral, who bought copies but of course were not in need of entertainment.

The book is selling quite well although I am not good at publicity and don't have the time and energy to hawk it round book shops. It is available from Yr Hen Bost in Blaenau Ffestiniog, the Meirionnydd Book shop in Bala and the Siop Papur in Trawsfynydd. Also from my web site direct - Merilang

Hedd Wyn. Ei Farddoniaeth

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Hedd Wyn's poetry -- new book

Merilang Press' new book, Hedd Wyn, Ei Farddoniaeth, is now available here
There will be an official bilingual launch on Thursday, Gwyl Dewi, and all are welcome.

Join Merilang Press for the launch a new hardcover book of poems by Hedd Wyn (1887 - 1917). The event will include a bilingual open mic session. 1.00 pm - 5.30 pm at the Village Hall in Trawsfynydd (Hedd Wyn’s birthplace). Free entry and snacks.
For more information contact Daffni Percival:

New Hedd Wyn book

The new hardback edition of Hedd Wyn's poetry, including some that have not been published before, is now here. The launch will be on St David's Day, March 1st in Trawsfynydd Village Hall from 1pm - 5.30. There will be an open mic session for anyone to sing or read in either Welsh or English. Entry is free and Trawsfynydd is just off the A470.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

This is my poem about Hedd Wyn's story.


The hills of Wales are green and gold,

But the men who once walked there

Now wade through trenches in the mud

Of foreign fields where death

Stalks indiscriminate and cold.

These are fields but there will be no grain,

No harvest here but bones and flesh

As the blood mingles with the rain.

In Wales the yellow native poppy

Spangles hedgerows, unaware

Of how on Pilken Ridge the evil thud

Of shells breaks the loveliness

Of Flanders poppies, red as blood,

Crimson petals falling in the mud

With broken, dying men in awful pain,

Poppy petals mingling with their blood

And the blood mingling with the rain

Orders come from somewhere else;

Men who hold no hate for fellow men

Are herded like uncomprehending flocks

To keep a grisly rendezvous with death

Far from their native fields and fells.

Poets plead their pity and their pain,

The pen crawls on, and a slow silver vein

Of poetry seeps through Flanders mud

And flows with the blood and with the rain

Quiet and cold Arianrhod shines,

Silvering the slates of distant Wales.

But her poet is a soldier now,

Gone with the men who marched away

To a world of weary plodding boots,

bayonets and all that war entails.

Half the youth of Europe slain

In an incomprehensible war,

Where blood mingles, wasted, with the rain.

Far from the fear, the lice, the groans,

Men too old for war have read the words

Of those who face their Armageddon

In those distant, hellish zones.

And, ‘Is there peace?’ the bard intones,

Ceremonial sword raised above

The black chair under the black cloth.

The poet now is past his pain;

Black crows fly over Flanders fields

And the blood mingles with the rain.

Hedd Wyn is in print.

At last the book is a real solid hardback and not a vague dream in my head. I had a lot of help from other people including David Gardiner who, miraculously, managed all the formatting for the printers. The painting on the cover is mine but not the technicalities.