Williams, Waldo

(1904-1971)
   Born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, the son of a schoolteacher, English was his first language; he only learned Welsh at the age of seven, when he changed schools. After graduating in English from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1926, he taught in various schools in Pembrokeshire and in England. His Baptist parents were pacifists and were strongly opposed to the First World War, and Williams was a conscientious objector during Word War II (he became a Quaker in 1953). From 1950 to 1963 (when compulsory military service ended), he was imprisoned on several occasions for nonpayment of income tax, which he did to protest the Korean war and continuing National Service. He died in St. Thomas Hospital, Haverfordwest, and was buried in the cemetery in Blaenconnin Baptist Church, Llandissilio, Pembrokshire. Dail Pren (The Leaves of the Tree), 1956, was his only volume of poetry published during his lifetime. A new edition was published in 1991 by Gwasg Gomer. Some of his poems: "A Summer Cloud," "Daffodil," "In Two Fields," "Remembering," "The peacemakers," "What is it to be Human?"
   Sources: 100 Welsh Heroes / 100 Arwyr Cymru. (http://www.100welshheroes.com/en/biography/waldowilliams). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Oxford Book of Welsh Verse in English. Gwyn Jones, ed. Oxford University Press, 1977. Waldo Williams. Tony Conran, trans. Gomer Press, 1997.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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