‘The Crowd Gathers’ for FAW’s Gŵyl Cymru Festival

The Football Association of Wales and Literature Wales have today announced the official poem for Gŵyl Cymru Festival – a creative celebration of Cymru men’s team’s World Cup journey in Qatar.

The National Poet of Wales*, Hanan Issa, was commissioned by FAW and Literature Wales to write ‘The Crowd Gathers’; the official poem for Gŵyl Cymru Festival. The poem has been translated by Grug Muse into Welsh, under the title ‘Mae’r Dorf yn Ymgynnull’. Both Hanan Issa and Grug Muse feature in ‘The Crowd Gathers’ official poem video, citing lines from the poem in English, Welsh and Arabic, accompanied by music from Welsh artist, Sage Todz.

Hanan Issa, The National Poet of Wales, and writer of ‘The Crowd Gathers’ said: “Football has the power to transform a crowd of individuals into a cohesive group, united in support of their team. It’s exciting to think of Cymru in an international spotlight and I wanted to express that infectious sense of hope the country is experiencing right now.”

Literature Wales’ Executive Director, Claire Furlong, said:

“Llenyddiaeth Cymru | Literature Wales are proud to work in partnership with FAW on this poem ahead of Cymru’s visit to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2022. Our National Poet, Hanan Issa, and the football team both have important roles to represent Wales on the global stage and we hope this poem inspires the nation to get behind our team and support them as only the Red Wall can.”

Football Association of Wales’ PR and Partnerships Manager, Melissa Palmer said:

“The Gŵyl Cymru Festival will see an incredible wealth of artists and creatives join to celebrate Cymru in the World Cup. The recently released Gŵyl Cymru Festival programme illustrates just how much cultural talent we have across Wales and Worldwide. 

“This talent is further epitomised through Hanna Issa’s, The National Poet of Wales’, spinetingling ‘The Crowd Gathers’. It has been fantastic to continue our work with Llenyddiaeth Cymru | Literature Wales to share the official poem for Gŵyl Cymru Festival.”

With more than 200 events from Wales and the World forming the festival programme, Gŵyl Cymru Festival aims to unify and amplify the wealth of arts, music and events being created for Cymru’s historic World Cup journey and introduce new audiences to Welsh arts, culture and language – ensuring a cultural legacy to the FIFA World Cup 2022, brought by the smallest qualifying country to take part.

Find a Gŵyl Cymru Festival event near you on the website, www.gwyl.cymru.

The crowd gathers

Sage[1] says some of the biggest talents

grow up in the smallest towns.

Like great trees starting life as seeds,

here, we give dreams room to take root.

Spreading through our spaces of green and blue –

from Mynydd Mawr kissing the clouds,

to the white-frothed waves of St Davids’ shores.

North to South the cynefin of Cymru is coch.

A dragon-shaped shadow appears.

Sparks flash from feet and fingertips.

The crowd gathers, اجتمعت الجموع.

Together, the Red Wall’s fiery chorus sings

of a land laced with legends and black gold,

of mothers, of fathers, and the rich soil of

croesawgar and hope, enough to fill Rimet’s Cup,

sprouting shoots of Welsh pride in the Qatari sun.

Hanan Issa,

Bardd Cenedlaethol Cymru / National Poet of Wales

 [1]Sage Todz in Rownd ȃ Rownd

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