List of Welsh language poets (6th century to c.1600)

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Welsh language poetry has, until quite recently, been regulated by specific verse forms (Canu Caeth), with the encouragement of the eisteddfod movement. The following list is as inclusive as possible for the years prior to 1600. It includes as many minor poets as possible to illustrate the range and content of Welsh poetry throughout the ages. Note that much early poetry has been lost and also that a great deal of medieval verse is either anonymous or, usually in the case of mythological poems and prophetic verse, attributed to the 6th century poet Taliesin or the mythical figure of Myrddin. Early religious and gnomic verse is also usually anonymous. Where possible examples of each poets surviving work is presented at Welsh Poetry at Wikisource

Each period of the poets listed below is accompanied by a graphical timeline to illustrate the main events and individuals that influenced the poets and their work. These timelines also depict the development of the Welsh language. This page is limited to the practitioners of the language and further details of its development may be found at Welsh language.


Pre 6th century

No works by Welsh poets prior to the sixth century have survived. Tradition records:

  • Maelgwyn of Llandaff (c. 450) - said, according to one source, to have written of Joseph of Arimathea's burial at Glastonbury.[1] However in the mid-5th century he would have spoken Brythonic, not Welsh, and as a monk would probably have written in Latin. His existence is doubtful.

6th century to 1100


The bulk of surviving verse from the period known as "Canu'r Bwlch" is anonymous.(see Wikisource)

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