Y talwrn

Just tuned to the popular radio programme “Y TALWRN”. Can anyone explain what’s actually going on and how the contestants score points? It’s a total mystery to me…

Haven’t listened to that for a while and the literary Welsh is still a bit of a tussle. My main problem is I can’t get that Dim Byd sketch of Y Talwrn and Dalek out of my mind :slight_smile: I’d love to know how the scoring works, too

My understanding: There are two teams of poets, representing different towns. The host/judge goes by the title of the Meuryn, which is a tribute to the name of the longtime original host. (Edit: Although I’ve just tried to find backup for that and can’t, so maybe I have the origins of the title all wrong.) Throughout the show, he announces various poetic tasks that the two teams have been given in advance – things like ‘a limerick incorporating the word amynedd’ or ‘a sonnet on the subject ‘loneliness’.’. I think there might be some on-the-spot challenges ('a couplet on the subject ‘beer,’ but I’m not sure).

One member of each team will have prepared something on the task, and it’s read aloud. The Meuryn then comments on it in much the same way that you hear the judges comment on poems in the Pafiliwn Pinc before the Chair is announced: what lines are especially good (or awkward), what images are striking, etc. Ultimately he gives each poetic offering marks out of 10 – there are a lot of 9.5s, but it really is a competition! – and at the end, the team with the highest score moves on toward the final round on the Eisteddfod.

Thanks Diane, at least I understand why the Dalek was upset now :slight_smile:

Thanks, Diane!!! I think this is the origin of the name - Meuryn:

I’m trying to fit Y Talwrn and Daleks into my head at the same time and failing here…

It was on Dym Byd. The dalek did his piece then when the scores were given and he’d lost, he shot up the studio. And no, I haven’t had a drink yet :slight_smile:

An example of the poems created by the two teams in a typical show is here. That’s a couple of years old. Unfortunately as far as I can tell, what Radio Cymru puts up now is sound clips from each week’s Y Talwrn, rather than the poems in written form. I say ‘unfortunately’ because (a) the sound clips don’t stay online forever, unlike the written material, and (b) I have much more chance of understanding some of this when I can stare at it for awhile. :slight_smile:

Andy Gildon - It was on Dym Byd. The dalek did his piece then when the scores were given and he’d lost, he shot up the studio. And no, I haven’t had a drink yet :slight_smile:

I don’t listen to Y Talwrn regularly but Dim Byd is a work of genius. http://www.s4c.co.uk/clic/c_level2.shtml?programme_id=504741553

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A year passes by; the new series of Y Talwrn is with us…Yet, its still a total mystery to me. Though, the final at the Eisteddod will be absolutely packed with enthusiastic fans of the show.
One word that came up was - Llith: Question is this the same as - Gwers - or does it have other depths?

It’s well above my pay grade as well, but for some reason, I like listening to it.

And although I don’t have any particular ambitions to get into literary Welsh any lifetime soon, I do hope that one day I will understand more of what is going on.

Same here!

There is some rap in this one:

(Starts about 20 minutes in).

I can’t say I followed it very well, but it sounded impressive.

What I’m not sure about (one of the things) is whether all pieces are prepared, or is there a certain amount of spontaneous replying to prepared pieces going on?

I knew there was a question back there somewhere…glad the search function helped me find it (but where is @dinas these days…?):

I wanted to know the name of the presenter of “Y Talwrn”, and was able to find this handy little guide:


Edit: If you go to the programme website:

Then click on “Cerddi Y Talwrn 2016” and keep clicking through, you will come to pages where they give both the texts of the poems and the scores for each round. Last year’s rounds are there as well.

That looks like a great resource for anyone trying to get into poetry (or anyone like me who was just trying to work out what was going on!).

Grateful thanks to Jeanne Pendergast for pointing out the existence of these pages on the BBC Radio Cymru website to me. Tagging @jeannependergast