as each competitor recited their lines.
Some were sad, mournful and touching,
others, uplifting, happy, or grumbling.
Love was one thing, divorce the other,
some even talked about their own mother.
None interrupted as each poet stood up,
praying that today, they were in luck.
Listening intensely to wordsmith raps,
following the recitals, everyone clapped.
Rhymes that had all come together;
where listening in and silence tethered.
That first day when it all had began,
Lord Rhys had invited the Bards to stand.
From across the valleys of Wales they came,
to a ceremony; which still happens today.
Amid towers of Cardigan Castle in 1176,
poets and musicians all voiced their pitch.
In their diversity and commentaries of life,
audiences were entertained with delights.
Charmed, amused, bewitched and beguiled,
the Bardic Chair, awarded to favoured style.
Keepers of stories and secrets shared,
at the annual festival: National Eisteddfod.
This showcase is still repeated each year,
the victor gifted with a magnificent chair.
Among spiral stairways, within stone walls,
you can hear the musicians and bards call.
Rhys ap Gruffydd, known as our Lord Rhys,
instigated this arts and cultural masterpiece.
All were given an excellent opportunity,
to be crowned as *Barddoniath of their community.
In celebration of writers, poets and traditions;
Eisteddfod literally means “To Sit and Listen”
Victoria Healing ~ 18.6.2020
©Take the Chair
Eisteddfod:The closest English equivalent to eisteddfod is “session”; the word is formed from two Welsh morphemes: eistedd, meaning “sit”, and bod, meaning “be”.
‘The Crowning of the Bard’.
The National Eisteddfod of Wales dates back to 1176. Lord Rhys invited poets and musicians from all over Wales to a grand gathering at his castle in Cardigan. A chair at the Lord’s table was awarded to the best poet and musician, a tradition that continues today in the modern Eisteddfod.
*Barddoniaeth” Welsh: The whole towering edifice of poetic endeavour
Image: 9′ high Bardic Chair (Castell Aberteifi – Cardigan Castle)