Cynghanedd and the Cadair

@johnwilliams_6 recommended a book in English about cynghanedd to me - Mererid Hopwood, Singing in Chains. Fabulous title! I’m yet to get it yet. I have a very ancient copy of Cerdd Dafod which makes my brain melt a bit because it’s all in proper grown up Welsh, but the actual explanations of the forms are excellent because you can just see what he means.

I have no idea though about how you go about obtaining the winning poem though!


The winning compositions in every Eisteddfod competitition – including the competitions for learners – are published each year in the Cyfansoddiadau for the event. When the audience exits the Pavilion after the Chairing, there are people selling them on the path of the Maes. Quite exciting, like breaking news! You can continue to buy them thereafter for years to come.

Here’s the one for last year on Ynys Mon:


Brilliant, thanks, so glad I asked! There’s browsing matter for a while to come… :slight_smile:


Haia! Bit late to the party as @siaronjames’ Clywed Cynghanedd by Myrddin ap Dafydd is what I would have suggested for the cynganeddu :smile: I’m currently using it (the website version) to get creativity points at school as part of a programme and its been pretty entertaining so far. Definitely recommend :slight_smile:


I don’t know about “the” poem, but there is some of his work on this page:

As far as I can see, there is the complete text of all the material from the 2017 series of “Y Talwrn” linked from here:

And from here, you can hear some of them being recited (clips from the programme):


Glad to hear you’re managing to smuggle some Welsh into your school work!!
(Any chance of us getting to hear any fruits of the creativity, I wonder?!)


Ehhh… Maybe one day :smile:


A naive question, sorry, but I presume it’s a book in English discussing cynghanedd in Welsh? (You see people writing stuff in English too sometimes, following rules of cynghanedd.)
I guess it would be worth reading either way - Mererid Hopwood is great - but it would be good to know.
Thank you!

Yes, that’s right - with pretty much all of the examples being in easy to understand Welsh - and definitely worth reading


Brilliant, thanks! I think that might be the next stop… :slight_smile:

I’ve also been trying to understand how cynghanedd works recently. I’ve been reading Mererid Hopkin’s book Singing in Chains. I found this really helpful and liked the way she talked you through each step but still found it very difficult to grasp properly. I have been looking out for her book for children - Cynghanedd i Blant - but it’s out of print. However I found this online resource taken from the book and I think it’s great. Apologies if it’s already been mentioned but I wanted to share it. :slight_smile:


How lovely! That looks like just about the contents of the book, in interactive format - and it looks nice for kids! Will have a closer look sometime.

I think Singing in Chains (and cynghanedd in general) is a bit of a long term project for most of us - as Mererid Hopwood says! I thoroughly enjoyed the first few chapters, but have to admit that I then got distracted by more pressing bits of life. To be continued…


I have attended and enjoyed one of @HarrietEaris 's courses in which she covers cynghanedd and other forms of Welsh poetry with great authority and infectious enthusiasm.

This is one of her posts on the forum. Harriet Earis course

I know she offered another course further North recently but, if interested, you could contact her through her own website from which you can see that she is a wonderful harpist, too. Harriet’s website


Hi all- there is a great introduction to cynghanedd on the Conversation-


The ‘About Welsh’ course will be running in June and Sept 2018. I’m booked onto the June one, can’t wait!

I had the same thought this year, having found the Crown poems on the Eisteddfod website but not the Cadair. Thanks to this thread, I bought this year’s Cyfansoddiadau, Clwed Cynghanedd and Singing in Chains from - and they have just arrived! Waaay beyond my abilities at the moment but, like a mother buying school uniform, I am hoping I will grow into them!!


I don’t think so @Catriona. I bought ‘Singing in Chains’ last year and got so fired up by it that I thought I’d write an englyn. It took me about six weeks to write four lines which is probably rhigwm doggerel anyway, but I learned a lot of new vocabulary on the way.

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Ah, well. That gives me hope. I can have fun trying anyway!

One thing that confused me - I listened to the Cadair ceremony in the radio, and I thought I’d undergo that part of it was a reading of the winning poem. So when I got my copy of the Cyfansoddiadau i thought I’d listen again and try to follow along with the text. But it didn’t match up, except in little fragments. So I’ve obviously misunderstood. I guess it was someone talking about the poem?

Can anyone enlightened a bemused relative beginner?

I haven’t heard the ceremony, but usually they don’t read the whole poem - they talk about it and say which bits really impressed the judges and why, and stuff like that, so that’s probably what you heard.

PS If you listen to Talwrn y Beirdd on Radio Cymru, they do a similar thing with the poems on there. :slight_smile:

Diolch, Siaron. That would certainly make sense