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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 November 2007, 12:41 GMT
Poet's tribute to Ray Gravell
Ray Gravell
Ray Gravell became a broadcaster and actor after his rugby career
Wales's national poet Gwyn Thomas has written a tribute to Ray Gravell, the Welsh rugby legend, broadcaster and actor.

The emeritus professor of Welsh at the University of Wales, Bangor, was appointed Wales's second national poet in June 2006.

This poem - an English version of the Welsh original - is supplied courtesy of the Welsh literature agency, Academi.


There used to be
Detonations on the telly -
It was Grav discussing rugby.

There used to be
From the radio great warmth surging -
Grav conversing.

When he wore red, his country's jersey,
Then, in him, our old Welsh nation
Blazed, a raging conflagration.

He stood at the Eisteddfod
A giant with a mighty sword
Above poets, all renowned,
Above poets chaired and crowned.

Our Welshness was in us far stronger
For our knowing him.

Hearts beat a little happier
After talk and banter
With him.

In his heart there was a light
That made all those who met him
A little better.

Now, tonight, it is November,
Dark and angry;
Without him it is winter.

There is silence on the screen,
Nevermore will he be seen
On the telly, live.

But his passion will not alter,
His exuberance not falter,
His great spirit will not wither,
While we are here to remember.

There was something in him
That kindled in us, all who met him,
The potency of graciousness;
And for that we thank him.

Gwyn Thomas

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