The bards have had it sussed all along:

repaying a kindness with verse,

purchasing with poems;

even peddling their scorn in song.


Poetry is an alternative currency –

but not the only one.


The ‘men who went to Catraeth’ of yore

paid for their mead with their swords;

farmers would barter their labour,

at round-up and shearing, and harvest time.


In the coalfield, men were bound

by another emotional currency;

and who today would go to a house of mourning,

without an arm bent by food?


So it’s high time we embraced the CELYN;

like the native trees, its roots were always in us

(before the pound rhododendronised our land)


and soon the CELYN,

will be as valued as our national flag,


with the white of invested flowers,

the red of berries, as they bear fruit,

and the green of asset-protecting leaves…


(and the CELYN will thrive, all year long,

not shed its leaves, when the tourists are gone)


So let’s engage with its communal aims

and share in its growth, remembering this:

the CELYN ‘s no shrub; it’s worth an advance-

it grows into trees, if it gets half a chance!


Ifor ap Glyn
Bardd Cenedlaethol Cymru | National Poet of Wales
Back to Ifor ap Glyn: National Poet of Wales 2016 – 2022