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Llywarch Hen


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Central figure of the Canu Llywarch Hen [The Song of Llywarch the Old], a cycle of poems (englynion, the oldest Welsh verse form) in monologues and dialogues, giving emotional peaks of a fuller narrative that has not survived. Llywarch characteristically laments his current state, hunch-backed, weary, and wretched, in contrast to the merriment and daring of his youth. The poems were formerly attributed to Llywarch, but Ifor Williams (1972) demonstrated that he is only the subject of them.

See Ifor Williams, The Beginnings of Welsh Poetry, ed. Rachel Bromwich (Cardiff, 1972);Patrick K. Ford, The Poems of Llywarch Hen (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1974);Rachel Bromwich, Trioedd Ynys Prydain, rev. edn. (Cardiff, 1978), 430–3;Jenny Rowland, Early Welsh Saga Poetry (Cambridge, 1990).

Subjects: Religion.


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