Between Green Hills and Grey Skies by Hannah Evans


Between Green Hills and Grey Skies by Hannah Evans


(Student reading History)


When I first arrived at Exeter I was surprised that when I explained to people that my first language was Welsh, their response was usually, ‘wow, but isn’t Welsh a dead language?’ As Welsh has been my primary language for more than nineteen years, I was baffled by this response.

So drawing inspiration from what a plumber, (who came to fix the blocked sink in our kitchen at the start of term) told me, that Welsh is a beautiful language which sounds almost like a song -  I decided to write this poem in celebration of a language that still sings its song across Wales today.




Between Green Hills and Grey Skies


Between green hills and grey skies

The language of my country sings,


In the classrooms of early school years,

When the seeds of language planted at birth

Blossom from the roots of lungs

Singing praises of old Welsh heroes.

Gwenllian, Llywelyn, Glyndwr.


On St. David’s Day,

The songs of spring sung

By children - clad in their traditional Welsh dress,

Daffodils clinging to their chests

As they recite tales of Dewi’s last sermon.


Upon the stage at Eisteddfod,

When old words are embraced by young,

Gwlad beirdd a chantorion - The

Land of poets and singers,

Celebrating a culture not quite dead.


On muddy rugby fields,

When summer rain clings to the grass

And the echo of Mae Hen Wlad fy Nhadau

Grips the air - capturing the song of a nation

Sung by voices north and south.


Between green hills and grey skies

Beats the heart of a language,

Pulsating the words of an ancient tongue

Through the generations


From villages set on the spines of mountains

To towns buried deep in the wrinkles of valleys,


From school children, learning two alphabets

To old ladies in chapel halls, croaking Calon Lân.


The language of my country is alive,

The language of my country sings.


Reproduced with kind permission of Hannah Evans
Copyright ©Hannah Evans