Waldo Williams
Waldo Williams

1904 – 1971

Waldo Goronwy Williams is regarded as a mythical figure. No one who knew him bore a grudge towards him. Whoever spent time in his company would embrace him and treasure every meeting. Young children were always fond of him when he taught them. Some would insist that he possessed the attributes of a saint. Indeed, he had strong convictions and an impish humour. Someone once said it had taken two thousand years of Welsh civilization to create a man such as Waldo. He had immersed himself in the history of his nation. On one occasion he stood as a Plaid Cymru parliamentary candidate. Although he lost his deposit he won many admirers. To many Waldo was the greatest Welsh poet of the twentieth century. To others he was a pacifist who happened to be a poet. He was much admired for his insistence on serving two prison sentences for his refusal to pay income tax in protest against war and compulsory military service. In his mid-fifties he joined the Quakers. He relished the inner stillness he would experience in the Meeting House. He dedicated his only volume of poetry Dail Pren (Tree Leaves) as a source of healing for his nation. We do not know of any other poet who made a similar gesture to his nation.

  • Annual Lecture 2022
    This year’s Annual Lecture will be held in the Board Room, at the National Library, Aberystwyth at 5.30pm Friday, September…
  • Ceri Wyn Lecture 2021
    ‘SOLACE IN DARK TIMES’ On presenting Cymdeithas Waldo’s first virtual Annual Lecture on September 24th, the guest lecturer deftly argued…
  • Annual Lecture 2020
    Because of the uncertainty and the anxiety regarding the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Annual Lecture, due to be held on…
Back to top