Idris Davies

Idris Davies (1905 – 1953, W, E) was born in Rhymney, south Wales. He left school at fourteen to work as a miner, where he lost a finger in an accident and also took part in the General Strike of 1926. He spent the next four years unemployed but having been introduced to the work of Shelley by a fellow miner began to write poetry. He originally wrote in Welsh, but later changed exclusively to English. He is now best known for the verses ‘Bells of Rhymney‘ from his 1938 Gwalia Deserta (meaning literally “Wasteland of Wales”), which were later adapted into a popular folk song. He studied to become a teacher and also became friends with Dylan Thomas. He died tragically young, at just forty eight from cancer with much of his work unfinished.


  • Gwalia Deserta (literally Wasteland of Wales). (1938). Dent
  • The Angry Summer: A Poem of 1926. (1943). Faber and Faber
  • Tonypandy and other poems. (1945). Faber and Faber
  • Selected Poems. (1953). Faber and Faber

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