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Dyddiad: 18/08/09

Diwedd Y Gwys Olaf

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Llun o Dic Jones/Picture of Dic Jones

Richard Morris Jones (Dic Jones, 'Dic Yr Hendre')
Bardd, archdderwydd, ffermwr
g. 1934, f. 18 Awst 2009

Petaswn i'n fardd yn y byd, heno mi faswn i'n canu marwnad i fardd Cymraeg mwyaf yr hanner canrif diwethaf, oherwydd fu farw'r prifardd Dic Jones y bore 'ma yn 75 mlwydd oed.

Ond nid bardd ydw i, a buasai hyd yn oed meddwl am gyfansoddi cerdd i nodi ei ymadawiad yn sathru ar ei ddawn (ac ar farddoniaeth yn ei chrynswth gan hynny). Hawlio'r teitl uchod ar ei ran yw'r cyfan gallaf innau wneud, gan y buasai Dic yn rhy ddiymhongar i'w hawlio drosto fo ei hun.

Wedi dysgu'r canu caeth wrth law teulu enwog Y Cilie, aeth Dic Jones ymlaen i feistroli nid yn unig cymhlethdodau'r gynghanedd ond y mynegiant a roes wir werth i'w gerddi, a'u cyfuno'n gyfanweithiau a ragorodd ar ei athrawon - ac ar bawb arall.

Bardd gwlad ydoedd, yn llawn ystyr (ac iawn ystyr) y term. Gan iddo ffermio'r Hendre yng ngwaelod Ceredigion ar hyd ei oes, roedd rhythmau natur a chylchdroadau y tymhorau ynghlwm wrth ei farddoni o reidrwydd. Prin syndod, felly, fod y cydbwysedd hwnnw rhwng y llon a'r lleddf, y dedywdd a'r trist, y golau a'r tywyllwch, yn gymaint rhan o'i gerddi.

Oherwydd ni fu bardd yn yr oes fodern yr oedd ei gynghanedd mor rwydd, mor lyfn. Cymaint felly fel y gallai anwybodyn fel fi hyd yn oed deimlo ei nerth. Beth bynnag bo'r testun, gallai Dic drwy'r amser ein siglo ni - boed hynny i ddagrau neu i chwerthin.

Roedd ei gyfraniad yn enfawr drwy'r blynyddoedd, nid yn unig fel bardd - fel rhan o dm Crannog ar Y Talwrn - ond fel llywydd y rhaglen honno am ddegawd a hanner tua diwedd y ganrif ddiwethaf. Roedd y syniad o'i roi wrth law Gerallt Lloyd Owen yn un ysbrydoledig, ac yn aml roedd y cyd-weu rhwng y ddau gawr hynny yn fwy o oleuad na'r cynnyrch yr oedden nhw'n ei bwyso a'i fesur. Rhyngddyn nhw ill dau, ysbrydolodd adfywhad yn ein traddodiadau barddol.

Ar un o'r achlysuron prin hynny pan fo'r wasg Seisnig wedi cymryd y diddordeb lleiaf yn ein diwylliant, anfonodd The Observer y bardd ac artist Jeff Nuttall i'r Brifwyl yng Nghastell Nedd ym 1994. Disgrifiodd Nuttall rownd derfynol Y Talwrn y flwyddyn honno fel a ganlyn:

"Dic Jones and Gerallt Lloyd Owen conduct Talwrn Y Beirdd, which is a spoken verse competition usually run as a game on Welsh radio.

"As each competitor delivers his piece, Jones and Owen improvise a link-commentary of such wit and erudition the audience is kept in a state of astonished mirth. Jones has a face like an undertaker's shovel."

Welais i erioed rhaw 'r math wn na'r math feddwl arni!

(Am ymdriniaeth helaethach o le'r Talwrn yn ein bywyd cenedlaethol, gweler yr erthygl hon a ysgrifennais i'r llynedd).

Mi gwrddais i Dic Jones un tro. Ar faes y Brifwyl yn Yr Wyddgrug ym 1991 oedd hi, ac mi welais o'n camu'n araf rhwng y stondinau ('araf' oherwydd iddo ddioddef yn enbyd 'i gluniau yr adeg honno), ac mi ddaeth y cyfle i mi fynd ato a diolch iddo am Y Talwrn. Yr oedd o'n hawddgar a diymhongar wrth rhoi'r clod ar ei bartner y cochyn o'r Sarnau am beidio a chymryd pethau'n ormod o ddifri' ac am wrthod gadael i'r rhaglen fod yn sych.

Ni chymerodd Dic ei hun yn ormod o ddifri' chwaith. Ei fyd oedd ei deulu, ei gerddi, ei dir, y Pethe - am y rheini yr oedd o ddifri calon, ac yr oedd yr ymroddiad hwnnw'n amlwg ar bob agwedd.

Diolch o galon, Dic Yr Hendre, a hedd i ti'n oes oesoedd.

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The End Of The Final Furrow

Richard Morris Jones (Dic Jones, 'Dic Yr Hendre')
Poet, archdruid, farmer
b. 1934, d. 18 August 2009

If I were any sort of poet, I would tonight be singing an elegy to the greatest Welsh poet of the last half century, because the poet Dic Jones died this morning at the age of 75.

But I'm not, and even thinking about composing a poem to mark his passing would be treading on his talents (and on poetry in general, for that matter). All I can do is to claim the above title for him, because Dic would have been too modest to claim it for himself.

Having learned strict-metre poetry at the feet of the famous Cilie family, Dic Jones went on to master not only its technical intricacies but also the force of expression which gave true value to his poems, and he combined them into unified works which surpassed his masters - and everyone else.

He was a country poet, in the full (and correct) meaning of the term. Having spent his whole life farming Yr Hendre in south Ceredigion, the rhythms of nature and the turning of the seasons were inevitably going to be integral elements of his poetry. It's scarcely any wonder, then, that that balance of major and minor keys, contentment and longing, dark and light, was such a part of his work.

Because no other modern poet's cynghanedd was so smooth, so flowing. So much so that even an ignoramus like me could feel its power. Whatever the subject, Dic could always move us - be it to tears or to laughter.

His contribution down the years was immense, not only as a poet - as a member of the Crannog team on Y Talwrn - but as chairman of that very programme for a decade and a half at the close of the last century. The idea of pairing him with Gerallt Lloyd Owen was an inspired one, and the exchanges between these two giants was often more enlightening than the material they were judging. Between them, they inspired a revivial of our poetic traditions.

On one of those rare occasions when the English press have taken the slightest interest in our culture, The Observer sent the poet and artist Jeff Nuttall to the National Eisteddfod in Neath in 1994. Here's how Nuttall described the final of Y Talwrn that year:

"Dic Jones and Gerallt Lloyd Owen conduct Talwrn Y Beirdd, which is a spoken verse competition usually run as a game on Welsh radio.

"As each competitor delivers his piece, Jones and Owen improvise a link-commentary of such wit and erudition the audience is kept in a state of astonished mirth. Jones has a face like an undertaker's shovel."

I never saw a shovel with such a smile or such a mind!

(For further explanation of the place of Y Talwrn in our national life, see this article I wrote last year).

I met Dic Jones once. It was on the maes of the National Eisteddfod in Mold in 1991, and I saw him walking slowly between the stalls ('slowly' because he was suffering terribly with his hips at that time), and the opportunity arose to go up to him and thank him for Y Talwrn. He was amiable and modest in giving the credit to his partner the redhead from Sarnau for not taking things too seriously and for not allowing the programme to become dry.

Dic never took himself too seriously either. His family, his poetry, his land - these were the things he was in earnest about, and that commitment was obvious at all times.

Thank you, Dic Yr Hendre, and may peace be forever with you.