And your sword plunge in your guts to make you snivel. Little is known about Gwerful Mechain’s life (roughly 1460 to 1502), although her poetic output places her as a contemporary of both her aforementioned likely-lover Dafydd Llwyd and Llewyln ap Gutyn, with whom she volleyed verses. ‘Cywydd y Cedor’ yw un o’i gweithiau enwocaf. Her work, composed in the traditional strict metres, including cywyddau and englynion, is often a celebration of religion or sex, sometimes within the same poem. As such, her joyful, bawdy, whip-sharp poetry means Mechain strikes me, and others, as a medieval poet for the modern age. Rather, she “was very much part of the mainstream and adept at the (very complicated) demands of strict metre poetry.

), it’s Mechain’s gleeful delight in the female body which, to me, feels freshest, most appealing of all. "], (Words beginning with ⟨h⟩ are treated as beginning with a vowel.). Though of ancient origin, cynghanedd and variations of it are still used today by many Welsh-language poets. [4], Last edited on 29 September 2020, at 17:12, "Orality and Morality: Early Welsh Women’s Poetry,",, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Foster, Donald W., Michael O'Connell, Christine Reno, and Harriet Spiegel (eds. The main stressed vowels are a (a short monophthong) and wy (the diphthong /uj/). In Welsh-language poetry, cynghanedd (Welsh pronunciation: [kəŋˈhaneð], literally "harmony") is the basic concept of sound-arrangement within one line, using stress, alliteration and rhyme.

Learn how and when to remove this template message, A more thorough introduction to Welsh poetic forms,, Articles lacking in-text citations from July 2015, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, For an example of a poem in English using, This page was last edited on 30 July 2020, at 20:42. Yes, please. 1460–1502), is the only female medieval Welsh poet from whom a substantial body of work is known to have survived. Take “To jealous wives,” in which she talks about “the love of good, big cocks … All these Mr Bigs are after me, desperate for a lay”; or the erotic “A lad beside the bush,” a concise expression of sexual desire. Medieval literature is so dreary, right? Little is known of her life, but it is generally accepted that she was a descendant of a noble family from Llanfechain. The literary Internet’s most important stories, every day. Here the consonant sequence {Rh Ch Dd [stress]} is repeated with different stressed vowels (short ⟨e⟩ and long ⟨â⟩). Nowadays, a quick Google of her name leads you to several titillating-titled translations of what’s easily her most notorious poem: “Cywydd y cedor.” Or, to non-Welsh speakers, “Poem to the vagina.” While “‘vulva’ would be a slightly more accurate translation… I rejected that because [it] for me at least, has a slightly clinical ring to it,” Gramich tells me. Cywydd y cedor / Poem to the vagina; 4. the main stressed syllable of the second half). All consonants surrounding the main stressed vowel before the caesura must be repeated after it in the same order. The various forms of cynghanedd show up in the definitions of all formal Welsh verse forms, such as the awdl and cerdd dafod. 3. Luckily, her personal life is the least interesting thing about Gwerful Mechain, a poet whose work is strikingly current. A number of poets have experimented with using cynghanedd in English-language verse, for instance Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Exactly as in cynghanedd groes, except that there are consonants at the beginning of the second half of the line which are not present in the series of 'echoed' consonants. Note that ⟨Dd⟩, ⟨Ll⟩, and ⟨Ch⟩ are single consonants (digraphs) in the Welsh alphabet and each represent a single sound. There may be any number of unanswered consonants in this part of the line, as long as the initial sequence of consonants and accent is repeated; compare an extreme possibility in a line of Dafydd ap Gwilym's The Girls of Llanbadarn, where only one syllable is repeated: Pla / ar holl ferched y plwyf!