Strict Metre Twittering

To mark Twitter’s fifth birthday, an item on S4C’s Wedi 7 programme tonight (21.3.11) will feature the creative use that a member of University staff makes of the popular social networking service.

Dr Llion Jones, Director of Canolfan Bedwyr and a chaired poet, has adopted Twitter’s contemporary platform in order to practice the ancient craft of ‘cynghanedd’ – a complex system of internal assonance, alliteration and rhyme. Over the last two years, Llion, who won the National Eisteddfod chair in Llanelli in 2000, has set himself a challenge of twittering entirely in cynghanedd. Within the constraints of the 140 characters allowed by Twitter, and the shackles of cynghanedd’s intricacies, Llion twitters his view of the world in lines and couplets of cynghanedd and the occasional ‘englyn’.

Outlining the reasoning behind this innovative use of Twitter, Llion said, “Adopting Twitter to this end is basically a way of keeping my poetic tools in order. I have never been a particularly prolific poet and over the last few years I have found it increasingly difficult to set aside some time for my creative writing. The discipline of writing some snippets of cynghanedd on a fairly regular basis at least ensures that the tools of the trade do not rust completely. In the wider context, and more seriously, I have long pursued an academic interest in the manner in which the Welsh language adopts new media, particularly in the realms of creative writing. And of course, the development of language technologies has always been an important component of Canolfan Bedwyr’s work.

This novel approach to Twitter is not the first time that Llion has harnessed technology in order to promote cynghanedd and Welsh poetry. In 1998 he established one of the longest-running Welsh language websites - Yr Annedd ( – which remains the only Welsh language website dedicated to cynghanedd.


 Follow Llion'r Twitter here:!/LlionJ

Publication date: 21 March 2011