Annual Lecture 2021

Annual Lecture 2021

Though last year’s Annual Lecture had to be cancelled due to the Covid epidemic we are hopeful this year’s lecture can be held on Friday 24 September. The venue has not been finalised yet but national poet, Ceri Wyn Jones, intends to lecture on ‘Helbul Hunan’: Waldo, Barddoniaeth a Iechyd a Lles (‘Red Storms of Life’: Waldo, Poetry and Health and Wellbeing). The expression ‘Red storms of life’ is Rowan Williams’s translation from the poem ‘Between Two Fields’.

Meanwhile, the ‘Waldo Ribbon’ day proved an outstanding success on Thursday 20 May this year. That was the day when Waldo died 50 years ago. All those who admired his work were encouraged  to write their favourite line on a piece of paper to be hung with a string on a tree.

The symbolic act brought to mind the explanation why he named his only volume of poetry ‘Dail Pren’ (Leaves of a Tree).  He found the expression in the Book of Revelations  “and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations”.  And somehow Waldo himself saw each of his poems as fertile leaves that would heal his nation.

Several schools chose lines from his ‘Cerddi’r Plant’ (‘Children’s Poems’) which he published along with his friend, Llwyd Williams. And some trees were adorned with colourful ribbons such as this one at Ysgol y Frenni, Crymych.

The pupils even produced a video of their day’s activities which can be seen here  https://fb.watch/5MMw4hrDG8/  on the school’s facebook page. Pupils of  Ysgol Llanychllwydog in the Gwaun Valley, where Waldo taught for a short while, adorned the trees in a nearby wood;

 

The best ideas are always the simple ones. We are indebted to a Cymdeithas Waldo stalwart, Alun Ifans, for suggesting tying ribbons to commemorate Waldo’s death, with some indirect help from novelist, Martin Davis, in whose novel, ‘Ysbryd Sabrina’, one of the characters ties a message to a tree.

One of the most unexpected places where the ribbons were tied was Rhoscrowther near Pembroke. That was particularly apt because Waldo composed the poem ‘Cofio’ (Remembrance) at Hoplas farm nearby.