Gwilym ap Dafydd Criticism - Essay

Helen Fulton (essay date May 1978)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Fulton, Helen. “The Love Poetry of Dafydd ap Gwilym.” Aumla, no. 49 (May 1978): 22-37.

[In the following essay, Fulton compares and contrasts the poetry of Dafydd ap Gwilym to that of Chaucer, suggesting that while both are creative yet traditionalist, Dafydd distinguishes himself with his unique praise-poetry of love and nature.]

In retrospect, the literary scene in fourteenth century Britain seems dominated by the figure of Chaucer. His poetry marked a new phase in the native tradition, reviving it with new blood from France, and establishing the English language finally as a major literary medium. But in another part of Britain, a poet writing in a...

(The entire section is 6106 words.)

Rachel Bromwich (essay date 1979)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Bromwich, Rachel. “The Earlier Cywyddwyr: Poets Contemporary with Dafydd ap Gwilym.” In A Guide to Welsh Literature, pp. 144-60. Wales: Christopher Davies Ltd., 1979.

[In the following excerpt, Bromwich analyzes the metre of the works of Dafydd and his contemporaries, and its societal and artistic implications.]

The following lively fragment describing a horse is quoted in each of the four early versions of the Bardic Grammar as an example of the metre cywydd deuair hirion, which was to become the increasingly favoured medium of fourteenth-century poets:


(The entire section is 6383 words.)

Stephen Knight (essay date March 1981)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Knight, Stephen. “Welsh Poetic's Well-Shaped Art.” Journal of European Studies 11, no. 41 (March 1981): 18-28.

[In the following essay, Knight highlights the key attributes of Dafydd's work within the context of various translations and their ensuing repercussions.]

This paper discusses problems and possibilities in translating a poem by Dafydd ap Gwilym, widely regarded as the greatest Welsh poet. The wit and beauty of Dafydd's themes and the subtlety of his poetic form make his work both fascinating and difficult to translate—impossible to translate, in the opinion of some Welsh poets and critics. Various attempts have been made in the past, however,...

(The entire section is 4509 words.)

David Johnston (essay date summer 1983)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Johnston, David. “The Serenade and the Image of the House in the Poems of Dafydd ap Gwilym.” Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies no. 5 (summer 1983): 1-19.

[In the following essay, Johnston comments on the significance of the house and its prominence in Dafydd's narrative serenades.]

A serenade is a poem addressed by a lover to his beloved as he stands outside her house begging to be let in. Dafydd ap Gwilym's work contains only one example of the genre, “Dan y Bargod” (89).1 There are however a number of poems describing Dafydd's nocturnal visits to the girl's house in the past tense, which might be called narrative serenades. I shall discuss...

(The entire section is 8171 words.)

Katharine T. Loesch (essay date 1983)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Loesch, Katharine T. “Welsh Bardic Poetry and Performance in the Middle Ages.” In Performance of Literature in Historical Perspectives, pp. 185-90. Maryland: University Press of America, Inc., 1983.

[In the following excerpt, Loesch provides a rough background of Dafydd and illustrates some of his most famous verses.]

Dafydd ap Gwilym still stands as the greatest poet that ever wrote in Welsh and as one of the greatest of medieval poets. He lived from about 1320 to about 1380 and is said to be buried under the great spreading yew that still grows among the ruins of Strata Florida, the Cistercian Abbey where many of the princes and nobles of the south of...

(The entire section is 1728 words.)

Helen Fulton (essay date 1985)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Fulton, Helen. “Living the Good Life: A Medieval Fantasy.” The Anglo-Welsh Review 80 (1985): 76-85.

[In the following essay, Fulton correlates Dafydd with Colin Muset, a thirteenth-century French poet and musician, citing similarities in their themes of the “good life” and their functionality in addressing social inequalities.]

Dafydd ap Gwilym and Colin Muset are two poets distanced in place and time. Colin Muset was singing in eastern France in the first half of the thirteenth century, while Dafydd was a Welsh bard composing in the second half of the fourteenth century.

The work of the two poets is comparable, however, in two...

(The entire section is 3268 words.)

Helen Fulton (essay date 1989)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Fulton, Helen. “Dafydd ap Gwilym and Intertextuality.” Leeds Studies in English 20 (1989): 65-86.

[In the following essay, Fulton explores the concept of intertextuality, or the idea that writings refer only to each other and not directly to reality, and how it operates in Dafydd's work.]

One of the unique aspects of Early English Literature and Language studies at the University of Sydney under the professorship of Leslie Rogers has been the promotion of modern English courses—including grammar and semiotics—alongside more traditional courses in Old and Middle English.1 Such a combination has encouraged the practice of looking at medieval...

(The entire section is 8580 words.)

Morgan T. Davies (essay date 1995)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Davies, Morgan T. “‘Aed i'r coed i dorri cof’: Dafydd ap Gwilym and the Metaphorics of Carpentry.” Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, no. 30 (1995): 67-86.

[In the following essay, Davies traces the use of carpentry as a metaphor in various genres of literature, centering his argument around the way Dafydd ap Gwilym may have been influenced to use such a metaphor in his own works.]

In the first cywydd of his ymryson with Gruffudd Gryg, Dafydd ap Gwilym responds to Gruffudd's opening attack with various countercharges of his own. Among the more substantive of these is his accusation that Gruffudd is derivative, a plagiarist, a poet who can...

(The entire section is 9907 words.)