Poetry replaces politics at Welsh Senedd
It’s been nearly 200 years of waiting, but today - Tuesday 19 February - poets in Wales will finally receive their acknowledgement as they take over Y Senedd, (the renamed Welsh Assembly building), and that famous last line of Percy Shelley’s 'Defence of Poetry', "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world," will be re-enacted in a way that even the great dreamer couldn’t perhaps have dreamt.
From 10.30am, politicians in the Welsh parliament will leave centre stage, making way for poets, as Holy Glimmers of Goodbyes, a bilingual day of reflection on war and peace begins. The day will include readings, commissioned lectures, performances and presentations from some of Wales’ leading poets and writers. Subjects covered include, the Welsh opposition to the First World War, Ivor Novello, Welsh Music Halls and war poetry past and present.
There will be readings from a number of Assembly members and performances of specially commissioned poems, a highlight of which must surely be ‘Cyfandir o Gofio/A Continent of Remembrance', a multimedia poem by National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn.
Holy Glimmers will also include presentations by pupils from Calon Cymru School and Fitzalan High School, where the children will showcase work created during creative writing workshops.
The event has been organised by Literature Wales, through the Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918 programme and is sponsored by First Minster of Wales, Mark Drakeford. Lleucu Siencyn, chief executive of Literature Wales, has likened it to a poetic takeover of the Senedd, seamlessly compatible with the fully democratic art form that is poetry.
The event begins at 10.30am and ends with tea and coffee at 5.15pm. Free entry.
Photo courtesy Star Platforms.