Three of Waldo’s poems are included as an introduction to the breadth of his poetry. ‘Remembrance’ (Cofio) was composed in 1936 when Waldo was visiting his great friend, Willie Jenkins, at Hoplas Farm, near Pembroke. According to Waldo the poem came to him suddenly at nightfall as the sun went down. The poem became a favourite as a set piece for elocutionists at Eisteddfodau until it almost lost its meaning. It was regarded as nothing more than wishy-washy sentiment. It has since regained its status as a poem of substance.   ‘Preseli’ was composed in 1946 in a direct response to the threat of designating the Preseli hills a permanent military training ground. At the time Waldo lived in exile near Lyneham in England. It appears this poem also flowed uninhibited from Waldo’s soul. The last two lines are probably quoted more often than any other lines of Welsh poetry. The Preseli slopes are the main photograph of this website.   ‘Between Two Fields’ (Mewn Dau Gae) was composed in 1956 specifically for inclusion in the volume Dail Pren.

A picnic in the field which inspired 'Between Two Fields'
A picnic in the field which inspired ‘Between Two Fields’

However, the poem had been ruminating ever since Waldo was a teenager as it is based on a mystical experience he felt when wandering around two particular fields close to the family home at Llandysilio. This is the poem, more than any other, which conveys Waldo’s majesty and the deep experiences he contemplated.   A recent splendid re-issue of Dail Pren by Gomer Press is available with a fine introduction by Mererid Hopwood. Many of Waldo’s poems can be read in translation. The most comprehensive collection would be Anthony Conran’s The Peacemakers: Selected Poems published by Gomer Press in 1997.


Remembrance (Cofio)

Between Two Fields


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