Annual lecture 2024 – Menna Elfyn, and more

Annual lecture 2024 – Menna Elfyn, and more

Waldo: Poet of the Myriad Minorities

This year’s Annual Cymdeithas Waldo Lecture will be held on Aberystwyth University campus on Friday, September 27 and will be delivered by Menna Elfyn from Carmarthen. Menna is well-known for her series of poetry volumes usually containing translations of the original Welsh verses. 

A volume entitled ‘Bloedd’ (Shout) containing translations into Arabic is her latest. As a result she receives regular invites to read her work at literary events across the world. Another volume of her own work entitled ‘Parch’ (Respect) will soon be published by Bloodaxe.

She is also working on a volume of translations of Waldo’s poetry hopefully to be published next year. Indeed her translation of the poem ‘Preseli’ was read by Siôn Jenkins at a concert held at Pisga Chapel, Llandysilio, on Friday, May 10. It was at the concert the first performance of composer Eric Jones’ treatment of the poem ‘Preseli was sung by Côr Cymysg Crymych.

A full sound version of the concert can be heard on this website and will be in situ until the middle of May 2025.

No doubt Menna will have much to say about Waldo’s mind-set following her efforts to interpret his thoughts and possibly some family anecdotes about the poet himself. 

As it is 120 years since Waldo’s birth perhaps more events than usual have been organised this year. There will be three guided walks ‘In Waldo’s Steps’. The first on Saturday morning May 25 at Llandysilio exploring his family connections and his boyhood exploits. Meeting at Pisga car park at 11 a.m. and refreshments in the vestry on return.

Vernon Beynon shares his memories of Waldo in Weun Parc y Blawd

The second walk will be on Saturday June 29 at Millin Chapel to be led down to the Crooked Oak and the third on Saturday July 27 at Puncheston to meet at the school. Waldo would take shelter at Millin Chapel before walking or cycling down to the banks of the Cleddau at the crack of dawn. And of course he was a temporary headmaster at Puncheston School during the Second World War.

Teifryn, Waldo’s nephew, reads the poem ‘Y Dderwen Gam’ (The Crooked Oak)

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