Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Dwynwen’

Storytelling Starters ~ Trouble with love

Saturday, January 27th, 2018

On Thursday this week, there was an email from an old American friend which consisted of just four words: Happy Saint Dwynwen’s Day. January 24th? I hadn’t remotely remembered about Saint Dwynwen.

So I looked her up. Like the story of Saint Valentine, it’s a tragic tale! Standing up for the right to love and the cause of lovers but ending up sadly alone: that’s the story of Dwynwen. And like so many old tales of this sort, this story makes my hackles rise. The power of wealth, the power of men over women, fathers over daughters: my goodness, it makes you wonder why we still celebrate such stories.

The story of Dwynwen:

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Storytelling Starters ~ Message of love

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

P1070076Unless you’re Welsh, you probably don’t know what special day it is tomorrow,  25th of January. Nor would you be likely to work out why on earth I’ve associated it with the birds I photographed in my local park this week. 

The link:

Birds are messengers of love in mediaeval Welsh poems and many Welsh folk-songs. The messages they carry are known as llatai. And the 25th January is the day of Santes Dwynwen, Saint Dwynwen. It’s the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine’s Day. So it’s a day for  perhaps commandeering a bird to deliver a love-letter for you.

But I have to admit that the story of Dwynwen is all a bit odd as that of someone  who  symbolises love.  Love in her story is unrequited, it leads to terrible things and Dwynwen  herself ends her life, by choice, alone in a nunnery of her own making on an uninhabited piece of land which gets cut off from the mainland whenever there is a high tide. (more…)