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The History of Wales in Twelve Poems


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Preface
Aneirin Y Gododdin (extract)
Anon. Pais Dinogad
Anon. Stafell Gynddylan (from Canu Heledd)
Gruffudd ab yr Ynad Coch Marwnad Llywelyn ap Gruffudd
Dafydd ap Gwilym Trafferth mewn tafarn
Henry Vaughan The World
Anon. Hen Benillion
Ann Griffiths (Dolwar Fach) Wele'n sefyll rhwng y myrtwydd
Gwenallt Y Meirwon
Dylan Thomas Fern Hill
Gillian Clarke Blodeuwedd
Menna Elfyn Siapau o Gymru

Promotional Information

• This is a short book of interest to general readers.
• Recognising the crucial part played by poetry in sustaining a sense of national community in Wales from the seventh century onwards, this study proceeds to view the history of Wales through the lens of twelve poems that, between them, span almost fifteen hundred years.
• It offers a new way of viewing the Welsh past, showing how some aspects of it are best accessed through the words of its renowned poets.

About the Author

M. Wynn Thomas is Professor of English and Emyr Humphreys Professor of Welsh Writing in English, Swansea University.

Ruth Jên Evans is a professional artist whose works combine media, specialising in printmaking from her studio in an old shoe shop in Tal-y-bont, Ceredigion.


"I can think of no more deft and authoritative introduction to the literatures of Wales than this gem of a book … tracing a path through the riches of the tradition with flair, clarity, and wit. This is a must-have guide for the curious and those new to the poetic panorama of Wales through the centuries."

*Gwyneth Lewis, National Poet of Wales 2005–6*

"With style, energy, and sureness of touch . . . we are guided through the complex story of Welsh identity from Maelgwn Gwynedd to Mark Drakeford, weaving political and cultural themes together in a vivid tapestry. There are very few pages that do not offer fresh insights, even for those who know their Welsh history well. The poems chosen are an excellent mix of the expected and the unexpected."
*Rowan Williams, Former Master, Magdalene College, Cambridge*

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