Davies, Idris

(1905-1953)
   Idris Davies, born in Rhymney in Monmouthshire, is possibly Wales's greatest poet of the twentieth century. He started work in the mines at fourteen, but after taking a correspondence course, he went to Loughborough College and the Nottingham University and qualified as a teacher. He worked in London and in several places in Wales before finally becoming a teacher in the Rhymney Valley in 1947. But only six years later he died of cancer. Although his poetry is concerned with the plight of the valleys of South Wales and denounces oppression and exploitation, it also affirms life, solidarity of community, the possibility of enjoyment amid the bleakness, and hope for a better future. His main publications: Gwalia Deserta, 1938. Tonypandy and Other Poems, 1945. The Angry Summer, 1953. Some of his poems: "Consider Famous Men, Dai Bach," "High Summer on the Mountains," "Hywel and Blodwen," "In Gardens in the Rhondda," "The Lay Preacher Ponders."
   Sources: Anglo-Welsh Poetry, 1480-1980. Raymond Garlick and Roland Mathias, ed. Poetry Wales Press, 1984. Idris Davies: A Carol for the Coalfield (http://www.nhi.clara.net/bs0057.htm). 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 Complete Works of Idris Davies. Daffyd Johnston, ed. University of Wales Press, 1994. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. Twentieth Century Anglo-Welsh Poetry. Dannie Abse, ed. Seren Books / Dufour Editions, 1997.

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

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