TRAHAEARN BRYDYDD MAWR, a poet of the first half of the 14th century

Name: Trahaearn Brydydd Mawr
Parent: Goronwy ap Rotbert
Gender: Male
Occupation: poet
Area of activity: Poetry
Author: David Myrddin Lloyd

In a poem in which he is satirised his pedigree is given as Trahaearn ap Goronwy, ap Rotbert, ap Bledri (R.B.H. Poetry, 1343). Certain phrases in the same poem suggest that, like Cynddelw, he was called 'Prydydd Mawr' because of his physical size (e.g. ' A giant who is offended ' and ' The son of Goronwy is bigger than I am '). In the Cambrian Biography (Owen), it is supposed that he is the same person as Casnodyn; Iolo Morganwg maintained that he was a native of Llangyfelach, and that he presided over the ' Chair of Morgannwg ' about 1300. But in the elegy to Trahaearn (R.B. Poetry, 1229/30, and The Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales , 277), ascribed in the The Myvyrian Archaiology of Wales to Gwilym Ddu o Arfon, he is associated with Merioneth. In this elegy, also, he is placed in the succession of the penceirddiaid or highest-grade poets, but Trahaearn, like Casnodyn, his contemporary, belonged to a period when the rigid separation of pencerdd and satirist was not fully observed. Trahaearn sang to Hywel of Llanddingad in Ystrad Tywi, and to God, in the elevated style of the pencerdd, and to ' Cadwgan and his son-in-law' in the scurrilous and ribald manner of the satirist. Trahaearn suffered abuse in a poem, whose author, probably a South Walian, is not known, and from this poem we learn that he was a North Walian singing in the South. He is called an exile, a buffoon, a poet of low degree, a vagabond, and is exhorted to stay at home.


Published date: 1959

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