Cymru, Sweden and Bangladesh

Published Fri 1 Oct 2021 - By Literature Wales
Cymru, Sweden and Bangladesh

Poet Anisur Rahman visited Wales last week and met the National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn who took him on a literary tour in Gwynedd. Anisur Rahman is originally from Bangladesh and now lives in Sweden and was a guest of the community literature company write4word when he visited Wales.

Anisur Rahman is a poet, writer and journalist from Bangladesh.  He was ICORN writer of refuge in Uppsala between 2009 and 2011 and is now the project developer of Litteraturcentrum Uppsala: a cooperation between Studiefrämjandet (an NGO for the promotion of culture and informal learning), the region and municipality of Uppsala, the libraries, Swedish PEN, the civil society and literary enthusiasts.

Anisur was visiting Wales for a week to develop the literary exchange and translation links that have been built between Wales and Sweden and the Bangladeshi diaspora over the last eight years. He is planning to create an axis of literary exchange between Europe, Asia and Africa through his established connections in Wales, Sweden, Kenya and Bangladesh. Anisur has recently been involved in the translation into Welsh of the UNESCO acknowledged Bangabandhu speech by the Founding Father of Bangladesh.

Anisur Rahman met Ifor ap Glyn and visited Yr Ysgwrn and Tŷ Newydd Writing Center. Ifor had visited Sweden as part of the 2018 Tranas at the Fringe festival with write4word.

To mark Anisur Rahman’s journey to Wales, the National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn, translated his poem Poet in Residency into Welsh:


Poet in Residency


One cannot find poets in residency in schools, libraries and literary seating

They phrase the cheers and long-drawn sigh in life and

They live in prisons, fields, factories, streets, markets and labour colonies

Poets are Vasco da Gama and Columbus where there is life even in nook and corner


If any one of you ask about me in Uppsala

You will know, this is the poet in residency in Uppsala


I must say: Anisur Rahman is not poet at all

Just an image of a bird in the storm


The bird finds its shelter in the palace at stormy night

The bird waits just for dawn, afterwards of the storm…


Bardd Preswyl 

(cyfieithiad o gerdd Bengali gan Anisur Rahman) 


Nid mewn ysgolion, llyfrgelloedd na chyfarfodydd llên 

ceir beirdd preswyl 

maen nhw’n geirio’r bonllefau ac ochneidiau hir sydd mewn bywyd 

ac maen nhw’n byw mewn carchardai, caeau,  

ffatrioedd, strydoedd, marchnadoedd a gwersylloedd gwaith. 

Mae beirdd yn ceisio bywyd ymhob twll a chornel, yn Vasco da Gama a Cholumbus i gyd. 


Os gofynnwch i neb amdanaf yn Uppsala 

cewch wybod, dyma Fardd Preswyl Uppsala 


Ond rhaid imi ddweud, nid bardd mo Anisur Rahman 

dim ond delwedd aderyn mewn storm. 


Mae’r aderyn yn canfod lloches mewn palas ar noson o ddrycin 

Mae ond yn disgwyl am y wawr,  

ar ôl i’r storom beidio. 


Cyfieithiad Cymraeg gan Ifor ap Glyn,  

Bardd Cenedlaethol Cymru 

Roald Dahl 100