To his friends in the 14 th century Dafydd ap Gwilym was paun cerdd, eos Dyfed, and penceirddwalch ‘the peacock of poetry’, ‘the nightingale of Dyfed’, and ‘the hawk of chief poets’. More than 650 years later he is still considered by many to be the finest Welsh poet ever. He is a delightful, at times hilarious, poet who explores the emotional complexities of love, especially unrequited love, with a self-mocking style that teaches us more than he seems, at first, to be saying. To say he loved nature is an understatement. He loved the world in all kinds of weather, which he also loved to complain about. He loved birds and trees and rivers. He loved the golden-haired Morfudd, perhaps for years even after she was married. He loved black- haired Dyddgu even though she seems to have been above his station in life. He loved to flirt with noble women and barmaids alike. And he continues to articulate for us the ubiquitous joys, doubts, and pains of love that most of us secretly harbor within ourselves.
This book includes the Welsh texts of 35 poems, accompanied by facing translations into English, an introduction in both Welsh and English, with explanatory notes, an afterword about Dafydd, and a brief introduction to Welsh metrics. The book is sumptuously illustrated by Anthony Griffiths with 70 evocative photographs of places that Dafydd himself knew and loved.
from the Preface by Dafydd Johnston, Director of the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies:
“As one who has spent his academic career working on the poetry of Dafydd ap Gwilym, it is a rare pleasure for me to come across an entirely new way of looking at the subject, but I must say that this book has indeed made me see the poems with fresh eyes.... This collection provides a splendid introduction to the poetry of Dafydd ap Gwilym.”
Copies are available in bookstores in Wales and from the publisher, Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, at
In the US, signed copies are available from the author at
Also by Bollard and Griffiths
The Mabinogi: Legend and Landscape of Wales (Gomer Press, 2006)
Companion Tales to The Mabinogi (Gomer Press, 2007)
Tales of Arthur (Gomer Press, 2010)
Englynion y Beddau / The Stanzas of the Graves (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2015)