The Assembly at 20

A special new poem by the National Poet of Wales to celebrate 20 years of devolution

Wales is not a poem but a continuous chat,
framed by the stones and glass of this house,
as the oak and the slate find their voice.

Wales is not a menu but a magic kitchen
where we chow down on fresh laws,
drink our own instructions
and bake hopes for the next generation.

I came here as a young dad, two decades ago,
to sing this place to life, to celebrate a new discourse;
and watched my children come of age,
the first to do so, in a long-trousered land.

And thus, our country was brought
from the time of sol-ffa, to the time of the selfie,
and we hold up our history, between the sun and ourselves,
to take a snap of the family today.

But those images must be better shared;
the rhythm of the chat is changing;
no more do we just want to ‘be’, like before,
we’ve a taste for doing too.

Both in this house, and beyond,
our song must be heard, so we cherish its worth;
‘our strength is in our people’;
our self belief, rebirth.
— Ifor ap Glyn, Bardd Cenedlaethol Cymru