Singing In Chains

Language: English

ISBN: 9781848519992

Current Publication Date: 2016

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 122

Title available as:

  1. About the book
  2. Book Reviews


‘Though I sang in my chains like the sea.’

This may be one of Dylan Thomas’s most famous lines, but how many know that it is an example of cynghanedd, one of the world’s oldest verse forms? And that that verse form is a uniquely Welsh one? Cynghanedd means harmony, and it is the music of Welsh poetry throughout the ages that Mererid Hopwood celebrates in this accessible handbook.

Originally published in 2004, this new edition with a Foreword by Professor M. Wynn Thomas includes refinements which take into account some of the developments in the poetry scene in Wales over the last decade, not least the new formats it has found on social media.

It is accompanied by a new free download, on which the author reads a selection of the examples, exercises, lines and poems included in the book, and is available on Soundcloud.


‘A clear, detailed and authoritative introduction to the uniquely Welsh phenomenon of cynghanedd.’

Caroline Clark (

‘A wonderful treat… Hopwood holds the reader’s hand very encouragingly through all the exercises, building up section by section as any good tutor should.’

Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch (New Welsh Review)

‘A model of concise explanation offering practical ways for the reader to engage actively with the examples given.’

Greg Hill (Planet)


Professor Mererid Hopwood is one of Wales’s most popular and highly respected authors, not least because of her exploits at the National Eisteddfod, where she has won all three of the major literary prizes, namely the Chair, the Crown and the Prose Medal. A former Children’s Poet Laureate of Wales, she is also much in demand as a lecturer, creative-writing tutor and broadcaster.