Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


A poem for Cardiff

24 October 2008

Gwyneth Lewis

"Learning’s a passport that returns you home a better person" - the opening line of a specially-commissioned poem to mark the University’s 125th anniversary year.

The poem, titled Education, has been written by Wales’ inaugural National Poet Gwyneth Lewis in honour of Cardiff’s milestone year.

It will be read by Professor Sioned Davies, Head of the School of Welsh, at the University’s Founders’ Day event on October 24th 2008.

Founders’ Day marks the exact anniversary of the official opening of the University, 125 years ago in 1883, and will commemorate Cardiff’s research, teaching and community-related achievements.

Gwyneth Lewis is an award-winning poet in both English and Welsh, her first language. She has been Writer in Residence at the School of Physics and Astronomy, and is also an Honorary Fellow of the University.

You can read the poem below, while Professor Davies’ reading is available here as a podcast:


(To celebrate the 125th anniversary of Cardiff University)

Beiddia feiddio,

gwellha dy wneud.

Mynna geisio,

parcha ddweud.


fydd dy glod.

Dy ddyfodol:

mentro bod.

Learning’s a passport that returns you home

a better person. It permits you to dare

being daring. Makes you secure

with not knowing everything. Helps you welcome

some failure. Forges an alloy

with others’ thinking. It is simple delight

in mind and its motions. Scintillates

but isn’t deceptive. Admits the joy

of institutes, is the open road

to everywhere but bigotry.

It’s the shortest distance between you and me

and, if you’re lucky, it never ends.

Gwyneth Lewis


More Tags