Coronavirus through the eyes of the children of Wales

5 May 2020

The laughter, the tears, the arguments and the love – how will the children of Wales remember the Coronavirus era in the years to come? Well, according to Gruffudd Owen, Bardd Plant Cymru (Welsh-language Children's Laureate), it will be the little things that stay with them – doing schoolwork in their pyjamas and teaching grandma how to Snapchat!

Gruffudd has written a special poem called 'Hyn' (This), which reflects the feelings of children and young people and the ways in which they may remember these strange times. Griff Lynch from Kreu Media has produced a short film with children reading different lines of the poem. The film will be shown tonight at 6.58pm on S4C.

"I wanted to create something about this period in time which was an honest reflection of people's experiences. I also wanted to include a bit of humour but without over-romanticising this time either," said Gruffudd.

"The extra-ordinary thing about the lockdown is that although everyone is living apart, we are all going through pretty similar experiences. From this I got the idea to write the poem in the form of a list. I hope that everybody will see elements of their experiences reflected in the poem."

So, how is Gruffudd coping under the Coronavirus restrictions? "Lockdown has certainly been a challenging time, as it has been for everybody who is trying to balance child care and work. But like the poem says, you have to take pleasure in the small things."

S4C's Children's Programmes Commissioner Sioned Wyn Roberts said: "S4C supports the Bardd Plant Cymru scheme in partnership with Literature Wales, Welsh Government, The Books Council of Wales and Urdd Gobaith Cymru.

"As part of the plan, Gruffudd goes into schools to run workshops, performances and activities as well as writing poems. Obviously, this has been impossible under lockdown conditions, so the idea was for Gruffudd to write a poem for the children of Wales during lockdown and for S4C to commission a short film."

"We are living in very strange times and perhaps this is a frightening time for children, so we were really keen that the poem be full of humour and hope. It reflects people's everyday life and offers a message of hope which emphasises that, one day, this will all come to an end."

Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said: "I am delighted that 'Hyn', the heart-warming new commissioned poem by Gruffudd Owen, Bardd Plant Cymru, will premiere on S4C tonight. During these difficult times, poetry is a shared experience to keep us all connected, therefore we are grateful to S4C, all of the Bardd Plant Cymru partners, and the wonderful children in the video for bringing this poem to life."

Welsh Language Minister Eluned Morgan AM said: "The Bardd Plant Cymru project is one that is co-funded by the Welsh Language Division of the Welsh Government, and I welcome the publication of this poem by Gruffudd Eifion Owen. It is a fun and beautiful poem, describing everyday life during this different period, and also quite simply saying that things will get better. Poetry is great way of expressing feelings at a time like this and I hope it will inspire children to write their own poems."

The Bardd Plant Cymru scheme is run by Literature Wales and supported by S4C, Welsh Government, Books Council of Wales and Urdd Gobaith Cymru.

Hyn Tuesday 5 May 6.58pm, S4C English subtitles available On demand: S4C Clic, iPlayer and other platforms A Kreu Media production for S4C

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