Cyfle i weld portread o'r ddiweddar Eluned Phillips o Genarth o 1984. Another chance to see this1984 portrait of Eluned Phillips who won the National Eisteddfod Crown in Llangef...
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-It was 1967 at Bala - everyone was
-amazed to see a woman standing up.
-Is there a reason why women have not
-been important poets in the past?
-I don't see why that should be.
-Women do everything nowadays.
-I don't understand it - I've worked
-easily alongside men all my life...
-..but when it comes to poetry
-they don't want to know you.
-When I won my first Crown,
-I stood up nervously.
-As I did so, a man behind me
-tugged my skirt...
-"Sit down, I want to see!"
-I remember Dilys Cadwaladr
-warned me at that time...
-..I wouldn't be admitted into poetic
-circles, as she herself experienced.
-I discovered that quite early, when
-I first started writing poetry.
-I was aged seven
-when I published my first poem.
-There was a forester living near us,
-employed by the Cawdor estate.
-He told my mother it was impossible
-that I could have written my poem.
-So she took me into the house,
-sat me down...
-..and told Morgan, this fellow,
-to give me a subject.
-The subject he gave me
-was 'The Forester'!
-Unfortunately, he'd cut down
-a tree I used to enjoy climbing.
-I was really fond of that tree,
-and I couldn't forgive him for it.
-So I sat down and wrote about him
-as a murderer.
-Oh dear, he wasn't happy about that!
-Mam was pleased I'd written the poem
-but I almost got a good hiding...
-..because Morgan used to give her
-left-over branches for firewood!
-Elizabeth Watkin Jones's book,
-'Luned Bengoch' (Red-haired Luned)..
-..was published when I was a pupil
-at Cardigan Grammar School.
-I'd already had enough jibes!
-In Cardigan, WH Smith had displayed
-eight copies of 'Luned Bengoch'.
-Naturally, I never heard the end
-of it, particularly from the boys.
-Well, enough was enough, so I
-decided to do something about it.
-In our garden we had many pretty
-flowers, wild daffodils and so on.
-I cut them
-- I stole them from Mam, really!
-I sold them to her friends, and with
-the money, I bought the books...
-..and to my shame
-I burnt all eight copies!
-I'd never burnt a book before that,
-and I hope I never will again.
-I'm still ashamed of it.
-There was another woman in
-the village who had red hair...
-..and she took me under her wing.
-In the village at that time,
-the Women's Institute was strong.
-I think I was about eleven years old
-- no taller than I am now!
-She'd take me to the meetings.
-Once there was a competition,
-and she encouraged me to compete.
-I had started writing poetry then,
-though not so much prose...
-..and everyone knew
-I was that way inclined.
-But anyway, she was insistent
-that I should compete.
-I wrote an epic play,
-'The Fall of Jerusalem'.
-It was in English, of course, as was
-everything in the WI at that time.
-There were scenes of children being
-eaten, I don't remember exactly...
-..but I'd got all the details
-from Josefas for my great epic play!
-Well, the adjudicator
-was SB Jones, Y Cilie...
-..and I knew nothing at the time
-of the Cilie poetic tradition.
-SB Jones said there was
-a touch of Shakespeare in my work.
-That was it -
-I was going to be a writer.
-There was no doubt about it.
-That was what I was going to do.
-There's still something
-about me and my hair!
-My first minister had the poetic
-name of Gwallter Ddu - Black Walter.
-I thought the world of him.
-I'd walk with him,
-holding on to his arm...
-..because he'd listen to my poems
-- I was about seven years of age.
-And he told me I ought to publish.
-It was he who first encouraged me
-to start publishing my work.
-Gwallter Ddu - DD Walters -
-was our minister at Bryn Sion.
-This is where I was brought up,
-and I still think of it...
-..as a place to retreat to
-from time to time.
-My religion is simple -
-it's my own personal religion.
-I love coming to Bryn Sion
-for that intimacy.
-I wanted to be an auctioneer
-as a child!
-But Mam put her foot down,
-because it wasn't ladylike.
-I wanted to be a chemist, which was
-worse, because I wrote poetry...
-..and Mam said I was absent-minded
-and would end up poisoning someone.
-I wanted to be a preacher. My sister
-and I used to preach in the house...
-..and to be honest, people would
-have more fun when it was my turn.
-But unfortunately, I just couldn't
-pray in front of people...
-..and I used to go under the table!
-But my sister, to her credit,
-continues to preach today.
-I never knew my father - he died
-three months before I was born...
-..and then we all went
-to live with my grandmother.
-That was a special influence on me.
-She had a gift for storytelling
-- the stories she used to tell me!
-We lived in the Cwm Cuch area.
-She would tell me the story
-of Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed...
-..and I imagined his white hounds
-weaving their way through the trees.
-They were marvellous stories which
-really did fire my imagination.
-My grandmother was also a midwife
-to the gypsies...
-..and that was
-a real child's paradise.
-Here was Banc y Shifftwn...
-..which was my paradise as a child.
-There would be two, three
-or more caravans...
-..and you wouldn't believe the
-beautiful treasures inside them.
-I remember one night, a son had
-been born to one of the Lovells...
-..who were genuine Romanies.
-Mamgu was a queen by then, and I was
-allowed to go to the bonfire.
-It was a proper festival -
-a fiddler, dancing and singing.
-All kinds of merriment, and in
-the middle there was a fire...
-..with a huge ball of clay
-at its heart.
-When it was time to eat,
-they split open this ball...
-..and inside it there was
-a roasted hedgehog.
-I had a hedgehog at home as a pet...
-..which I used to feed every day
-with a saucer of milk.
-All they saw of me that night
-were my heels...
-..and sadly I broke all contact
-with the Gypsies forever.
-That was sad - I used to love them.
-Auntie Hannah was another influence.
-She lived with us after her husband
-died - she was a great storyteller.
-She was also well-known
-as a fisherwoman.
-This place is very important
-to the village.
-It's the only street we ever had
-- we used to call it Fish Street.
-Behind me here is where
-Auntie Hannah used to live.
-There used to be two cottages
-and one two-floored house here.
-She came to live here from the farm
-because she wanted to go fishing.
-That's why she moved here,
-and that's where she used to fish.
-The pool has been named after her
-- Hannah Rees's Pool.
-Her husband, Peter, was blind.
-He'd sit here in the doorway
-while she was fishing.
-She'd take the alarm clock with her
-and put it on the rock beside her.
-Otherwise, she'd forget
-she had to cook for Peter!
-Morgan the cat would go fishing
-with her, too.
-He was a sensible creature.
-She'd catch the fish,
-loads of them...
-..and Morgan would carry the fish
-back, without touching them...
-..and he'd put them
-down by Peter's feet.
-Auntie Hannah never lost anything.
-She had a pocket under her skirt.
-She'd put the small fish that she
-was supposed to throw back, in there
-Hannah, just as thrifty as everyone
-else, would put them in the pocket.
-She used to say there were
-..when the bailiff
-came to look under her skirt!
-The river's important to everyone
-who's ever lived in Cenarth.
-You must know the names of the pools
-When they'd fish from coracles
-they'd start at Pwll Defed...
-..then over Y Dalar,
-and down either side of the island.
-Each side had a name
-- Gwar Beben and Bwlch Bach.
-Then down to Pwll Siencyn,
-and Pwll Drysu.
-I remember Pwll Drysu well -
-there was a tree...
-..which had fallen across the river
-- it was an ideal spot for poaching!
-One night the Archdruid of Brittany,
-a very accomplished poet...
-..was staying with us, the night
-before some eisteddfod or other.
-He'd heard about this poaching, and
-wanted to know what we got up to.
-So, we moved out on this fallen tree
-and cast our net...
-..and that was how we
-caught the fish, the salmon.
-He caught his spectacles on
-something and they fell off...
-..and he fell into the river!
-The biggest fish I ever caught!
-Poaching's a lot of bother.
-Poaching's a lot of bother.
-That's half the fun!
-I don't know how many girls
-used to go out poaching.
-Perhaps I used to do things
-But tell me, what made you
-go out poaching?
-Well, if money's scarce, and you
-need money for fags or something...
-..it's better to go out and catch
-a fish than to steal the money.
-You didn't break the law then.
-After all, you're promised five
-loaves and two fish in the Bible!
-I had the urge to write 'cynghanedd'
-even before I could write poetry.
-They didn't teach it in school,
-as they do these days.
-Mam would pay for me to have lessons
-at Newcastle Emlyn, three miles away
-They were very good lessons,
-by Mrs Clement Davies...
-..wife of the Baptist minister
-at the Graig at the time.
-It was through her that I sat
-the Gorsedd examination.
-I sat three exams at one sitting.
-They don't do that any more.
-So I was accepted into the Gorsedd
-when I was about 16.
-That's how I started off.
-Ever since then, the Eisteddfod's
-been in my blood for good.
-For some reason, I was sent
-to boarding school in London.
-I think the reason was,
-and I didn't like the reason...
-..but I think the family
-wanted me to be a teacher.
-I think they thought boarding school
-would sort me out.
-Well, it didn't work!
-I had a friend called Joan there,
-and we were a like-minded pair.
-We wore high heels and lipstick...
-..and we'd go down the fire escape
-in the back, into Fleet Street!
-That's where I met Dewi Emrys,
-at long last!
-At that time,
-you weren't considered a writer...
-..unless you were starving
-in a garret.
-So I found a place in Bayswater,
-and met Norma from New Zealand.
-I wrote romantic love stories,
-before Mills & Boon existed...
-..and we sent them off, but Norma
-acted as my agent, my only one ever!
-I need someone like that, because
-I'm no good at asking for money.
-So she'd collect any money
-that came in.
-And I simply couldn't write these
-romances under my own name...
-..living in Wales at that time.
-I had to hide this from everyone.
-So she'd send these stories out
-under all kinds of pseudonyms.
-I've no idea what she called me.
-Certainly not my own name!
-Anyway, the first two I sent off
-But the third time -
-third time lucky for a Welshman!
-and received three guineas.
-I was at home, and Mr Roy Evans
-from Newcastle Emlyn called.
-He was the Magistrates' Clerk
-at Newcastle Emlyn.
-He'd come to ask my mother
-whether I could work for him...
-..because his partner
-had to go to War, apparently.
-He wanted me to start immediately.
-I didn't know what to do,
-but we both went to the courtroom.
-He ran three courts. Newcastle
-Emlyn, Llandysul, and Pencader.
-While I was at those three courts,
-there were large crowds...
-..as many as a hundred, sometimes,
-especially in Pencader...
-..and I believe that was their
-answer to the theatre, at the time.
-Because you'd have the same crowd
-of regulars every time.
-I knew nothing of the law...
-..so I had to read Stone's Justices'
-Manual in bed every night.
-So while while I was in that job,
-I had to read up every night...
-..on the next morning's cases.
-I remember one that had a terrible
-effect on me, in Pencader.
-In court was a man who had broken
-into the Post Office in Pencader.
-He had no fixed address.
-He was Irish,
-and I'm usually very fond of them.
-But there was nothing we could do
-but send him to jail.
-I cried all night.
-When I came back to Wales,
-Dewi Emrys had come back, too...
-..and he lived in Talgarreg.
-He'd founded Sefydliad y Fforddolion
-and I was asked to join.
-We had a dinner one night
-The guest speaker was John Griffiths
-of the BBC in Swansea.
-I didn't know who he was, because
-I'd been out of Wales for so long.
-In fact, he was the strangest man
-I'd ever seen, at the time.
-He kept saying, "You've no chance.
-I already have enough scripts".
-I couldn't understand.
-Apparently, somebody had told him
-I was a writer, home from England.
-I think he was worried that I
-was going to ask him for work.
-But that hadn't crossed my mind.
-Well, I lost my temper, eventually.
-"Look here," I said, "I don't know
-who you are, but whoever you are...
-..don't imagine for one moment
-that I'd write a script for you."
-And that was that.
-I kept my distance from the man.
-And a very handsome man he was too,
-but I kept my distance.
-But in the end,
-two days after I'd gone home...
-..after falling out with him...
-..I received a letter
-asking me to write him a script.
-From then on,
-we became good friends.
-He was the kindest-hearted man
-I ever met.
-I wrote Welsh language features
-I'd always drag Dewi Emrys
-into them wherever possible.
-I knew he needed the money.
-Of course, one of the highlights
-of the year for us...
-..would be the pilgrimage
-with Dewi Emrys to Pwll Deri.
-It was wonderful.
-We'd sit with him on the stone
-where he wrote 'Pwll Deri'.
-From Pwll Deri,
-we'd go on to Pwll Gwaelod.
-There was nothing there
-but a quiet little pub.
-We'd all go there, and about 2 in
-the morning when we'd had a few...
-..Dewi would have a glass
-of Creme de Menthe in his hand...
-..and one night
-he recited 'Pwll Deri'.
-I never heard anything like it.
-It was wonderful.
-This is the memorial
-to Dewi Emrys at Pwll Deri.
-I'm sure I can hear his laughter
-floating on the wind.
-They've given him two years extra.
-He was born in '81, not in '79.
-I was asked to join the people
-who wrote 'Teulu Ty Coch'.
-Later on came 'Teulu'r Mans',
-with John Griffiths, again.
-It was great fun, believe me.
-I became very fond of the character
-Joe Long - Manny Price, you see.
-Joe Long was named after a village
-character called Sam Long.
-We had a lot of fun with Sam Long.
-He looked a bit like Manny!
-Dilys played Annie May.
-But the boys were adamant. They had
-a name for the minister's wife.
-I was surprised when they said it
-was Eluned. She was named after me!
-My head swelled up!
-At last, I'd been noticed!
-I was the respectable
-But this respect didn't last...
-..because they decided that she
-was to be a very eccentric creature.
-She smoked, and swore.
-She did everything
-that a minister's wife shouldn't do!
-Winning the second Crown wasn't
-as thrilling as the first time.
-It was well-received eventually.
-It's been translated by now...
-..to English, French, Spanish,
-Italian, Sinhalese, and Tamil.
-And last week,
-a German professor wrote to me...
-..asking for another copy of the
-poem for somebody else to translate.
-So some good has come out of it!
-But I still write, and write poetry.
-Usually when I'm seriously
-..there'll be somebody ill at home
-and I'll be up with them all night.
-But on the whole,
-life has been good to me.
-These days, though I still go
-to Eisteddfodau, of course...
-..and meet the odd
-..I'm not sure if it's as much fun
-generally as it used to be.
-People seem to be a lot more
-respectable than before.
-People don't have the same harmless
-fun that we used to have.
-Cynan was one of the greatest
-Eisteddfod characters for me.
-We got on like a house on fire.
-We quarrelled, and soon made up.
-But something funny happened once.
-I remember one afternoon we were
-in HTV making a programme...
-..and Cynan happened to be there
-too, making another programme.
-He saw me, and asked me
-to sit at his table for lunch.
-Of course, I sat by him nicely.
-He had a lighter, and it wasn't
-working. It was leaking gas.
-He said, "Listen to this",
-and he held the lighter to my ear.
-I was more than happy
-to oblige Cynan.
-But at that moment, his finger must
-have slipped, or something...
-..and the next thing we knew,
-my hair was in flames!
-If it wasn't for the teacher
-sitting with us...
-..I'm sure that would have been
-the end of Eluned Bengoch!
-S4C subtitles by
Cyfle i weld portread o'r ddiweddar Eluned Phillips o Genarth o 1984. Another chance to see this1984 portrait of Eluned Phillips who won the National Eisteddfod Crown in Llangefni,1983.