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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dafydd ap Gwilym

15th September

On Saturday 15th September 1984 a memorial stone was unveiled by a Prifardd to mark the site in the churchyard at Talley where a deeply-rooted tradition asserts that the poet Dafydd ap Gwilym (ca.1315-ca.1350) lies buried. For many centuries the rival claims of Talley and Ystrad Fflur have been debated as the burialplace of Wales’ foremost poet. 

Tradition has it that he was born at Brogynin, Penrhyn-coch (at the time Llanbadarn Fawr parish), Ceredigion. His father, Gwilym Gam, and mother, Ardudfyl, were both from noble families. As one of noble birth it seems Dafydd did not belong to the guild of professional poets in medieval Wales, and yet the poetic tradition had been strong in his family for generations.  It is believed that about one hundred and seventy of his poems have survived, though many others have been attributed to him over the centuries. His main themes were love and nature. The influence of wider European ideas of courtly love, as exemplified in the troubadour poetry of Proven├žal, is seen as a significant influence on Dafydd's poetry.

He was an innovative poet who was responsible for popularising the metre known as the "cywydd" and first to use it for praise. But perhaps his greatest innovation was to make himself the main focus of his poetry. By its very nature, most of the work of the traditional Welsh court poets kept their own personalities far from their poetry. Dafydd's work is full of his own feelings and experiences. His main theme is love, and many of his poems are addressed to women, but particularly to two of them, Morfudd and Dyddgu. He is also recognised as very fine nature poet.
15th September
On Saturday 15th September 1984 a memorial stone was unveiled by a Prifardd to mark the site in the churchyard at Talley where a deeply-rooted tradition asserts that the poet Dafydd ap Gwilym (ca.1315-ca.1350) lies buried. For many centuries the rival claims of Talley and Ystrad Fflur have been debated as the burialplace of Wales’ foremost poet.
Tradition has it that he was born at Brogynin, Penrhyn-coch (at the time Llanbadarn Fawr parish), Ceredigion. His father, Gwilym Gam, and mother, Ardudfyl, were both from noble families. As one of noble birth it seems Dafydd did not belong to the guild of professional poets in medieval Wales, and yet the poetic tradition had been strong in his family for generations. It is believed that about one hundred and seventy of his poems have survived, though many others have been attributed to him over the centuries. His main themes were love and nature. The influence of wider European ideas of courtly love, as exemplified in the troubadour poetry of Proven├žal, is seen as a significant influence on Dafydd's poetry.
He was an innovative poet who was responsible for popularising the metre known as the "cywydd" and first to use it for praise. But perhaps his greatest innovation was to make himself the main focus of his poetry. By its very nature, most of the work of the traditional Welsh court poets kept their own personalities far from their poetry. Dafydd's work is full of his own feelings and experiences. His main theme is love, and many of his poems are addressed to women, but particularly to two of them, Morfudd and Dyddgu. He is also recognised as very fine nature poet.

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