Dafydd Johnston, 'Authorship'

This edition recognises three categories of poems: the canon of 147 poems which are accepted as the work of Dafydd ap Gwilym (and the four by Gruffudd Gryg in the bardic debate), 20 poems of uncertain authorship, and the numerous poems which are attributed to Dafydd ap Gwilym in some manuscripts but which are judged not to be his work (see list of 203 under the heading ‘Apocrypha’). It must be emphasized from the start that the boundaries between these categories are not absolute by any means. As will be seen, there are reasons to doubt the authenticity of one or two of the poems included in the canon, and on the other hand a case can be made for the authenticity of all the poems of uncertain authorship and a few of the apocrypha as well. But in doing so it is essential to follow guidelines which are as objective as possible, whilst also recognising the theoretical problems associated with the concepts of authorship and authenticity.

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