CAHSS Faculty Articles

An Unedited Welsh Poem from Peniarth 49: Cywydd y Gal

James E. Doan, Nova Southeastern University

Unverified citation.


One of the few surviving examples of Medieval Welsh erotic verse is Cywydd y Gal or "Poem of the Penis." The poem exists in some eleven manuscripts from the late 15th and 16th centuries, most of which are now housed in the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth. In seven of these, including MS. Peniarth 49, the poem is directly or indirectly ascribed to the 14h century poet Dafydd ap Gwilym, and in the remaining four to 15th century poetess Gweirful Mechain.1 In this paper I shall be concerned with establishing the authorship of the poem taking into consideration internal linguistic and metrical evidence.