R. Williams Parry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Robert Williams Parry (6 March 1884 – 4 January 1956) was one of Wales's most notable 20th-century poets writing in Welsh.

Robert Williams-Parry and his wife, Myfanwy

His life[edit]

R. Williams Parry was born in Talysarn, in Dyffryn Nantlle, a first cousin to T. H. Parry-Williams and Sir Thomas Parry.[1] He studied at UCW Aberystwyth for two years (1902–1904) and completed his graduate degree qualifications at UCNW Bangor (1907–1908). He was awarded an MA degree in 1908 for a dissertation on points of contact between Welsh and Breton.

Parry first taught at a primary school, then after his graduation, as a secondary-school teacher in both English and Welsh. He was in the army from 1916 to 1918. In 1922 he was appointed a lecturer in the Welsh and Extra-Mural Studies Departments at University College Bangor, where he remained until his retirement in 1944.

His work[edit]

A llonydd gorffenedig Yw llonydd y Lôn Goed
The peace of Lôn Goed Is perfect peace (Verse from the poem "Eifionydd" on a sign in Gwynedd.

Parry earned widespread recognition as a poet when he won the chair at the 1910 National Eisteddfod for his poem 'Yr Haf' ('The Summer'), which has been described as "the best known and admired of all the eisteddfod awdlau of the 20th century". He published two collections of poetry; Yr Haf a cherddi eraill (1924) and Cerddi'r Gaeaf (1952).

Some of his most notable works include "Y Llwynog" (The Fox), "Eifionydd" and "Englynion coffa Hedd Wyn". In the latter he uses the traditional four-line verse or englyn and cynghanedd to lament the death of the poet Ellis Humphrey Evans at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. Evans was posthumously awarded the Chair at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

"The chair ... today stretching out its arms in a long peace of silence for the one who hasn't come."

There is a fine short biography and appreciation of Parry's work by his cousin, Sir Thomas Parry, in the Welsh Biography Online.[2]


Books by R. Williams Parry[edit]

  • Yr Haf a cherddi eraill (1924)
  • Cerddi'r Gaeaf (1952)


  1. ^ "The National Library of Wales :: Dictionary of Welsh Biography". yba.llgc.org.uk.
  2. ^ "The National Library of Wales :: Dictionary of Welsh Biography". yba.llgc.org.uk.