LINES of Waldo Williams' unforgettable poetry should be fluttering from trees across Wales on Thursday, May 20 to mark half a century since one of Wales' greatest poets died.

Waldo Williams was regarded as one of the foremost 20th century poets in Wales. He was also a pacifist, a Quaker and a nationalist of conviction.

He was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire and taught himself Welsh when the family moved to Mynachlog-ddu where his father was a primary school headteacher.

He was a conscientious objector during the Second World War and was jailed on two occasions because of his pacifiscm.

Cymdeithas Waldo, the Waldo Williams Society, was set up to sustain the memory of the life and work of Waldo Williams, promote his contribution to the literature and culture of Wales through interpretation and a deeper understanding of his work and appreciate and promote his contribution to pacificism.

The society is hoping that people will write a line of Waldo Williams's poetry on a label and hung as a leaf on a tree to commemorate the life of the Pembrokeshire poet and pacifist.

The suggestion has been made as a reference to his volume of poetry named Dail Pren (Tree Leaves).

Junior school children are also being encouraged to choose their favourite line of poetry from among his volume of children's poetry, published along with E Llwyd Williams, Cerddi'r Plant (Children's Poems).

"Much has been organised already this year to mark his death fifty years ago in 1971, and these symbolic leaves will bring us closer to the ideas he conveyed in his poems. There are so many lines to be chosen which are rich in meaning."

More volumes have already been written about Waldo than almost any other Welsh language poet.

Jim Perrin said of him: "At his outstanding best, his verse has a mystical intensity and a calm beauty of vision that are powerfully sustaining and memorable."

According to John Osmond:

"Even read in translation – and Waldo has been fortunate in his translators – his poetry is of the highest quality in terms of intelligence, love, and above all a numinous awareness."

Lovers of literature and Waldo admirers everywhere are encouraged to take part in this celebration of Waldo's life on May 20.

It is envisaged a wide assortment of poetic lines written on labels will be blowing in the wind on trees all over Wales.

More information can be seen on