"Almost at the end of the age of the horse and at the beginning of the age of the tractor, almost at the end of the 'country poets' tradition - that's where I was lucky to find myself..."
Dic yr Hendre, to give him his bardic name, lived all his life on Hendre farm, Blaenannerch near Cardigan, and the roots of his poems are deep in the soil and in that area of southern Ceredigion.
Poetic craft, childhood and life itself are the topics discussed in Dic Jones - Yn Ei Eiriau Ei Hun (Dic Jones - In His Own Words). The long interview with Dic that forms part of this programme was recorded around Easter 2009, when the intention was to follow Dic through a year as Archdruid of the National Eisteddfod.
Early on, he came under the influence of the famous family of poets, Bois y Cilie, and he developed into a master of the strict metre in eisteddfodau. The climax of his early writing was his victory in the chair competition at the Aberafan National Eisteddfod in 1966 with his poem Y Cynhaeaf (The Harvest).
Dic Jones said, "The thrill of standing up in the pavilion and seeing all the faces turned towards me was an experience I'll never forget." There were unforeseen consequences: "Once you'd won the National, you got invitations to be an adjudicator in shows of all kinds. I was even a judge at a disco competition - I'd never seen strobe lights before!"
Dic also talks about his controversial decision to break the rules by competing for the Chair at the 1976 Cardigan National Eisteddfod on the subject of Y Gwanwyn (The Spring) while a member of the eisteddfod's literary committee. He was stripped of the prize which was awarded instead to another bard, Alan Llwyd, also deserving of the Chair in the eyes of the adjudicators. But he says the set subject that year had compelled him to write and compete.
As well as the bittersweet, the interview is electric with emotion at times, especially when talking about the loss of his three-month-old daughter, Esyllt, who had Down's Syndrome. His widow, Jean talks about Dic as a loving father and grandfather, and Dic's son Brychan Llŷr voices some of Dic's poems in the programme.
© 2012 S4C
O Gymru / Made in Wales