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VOLUME XVI WELSH OUTLOOK Where there is no vision the people perish NOTES OF THE MONTH THE month of August, by yearly custom, is dedicated by literary Welshmen to chew- ing the cud of the Eisteddfod week. We may shortly expect their pronouncements on the merits of the fare. Sitting quite free from the published comments of the official adjudicators, they seem this year to be already unanimous about some of the pieces. Whether the Crown poem is the high Alp that remarks from the Eis- teddfod platform at Liverpool led us to expect it to be remains a matter of debate. But there is no lack of agreement about the merits of the satire Y Pwyllgorddyn." It has undoubt- edly struck popular favour. Out of the byways of the minor compositions the outstanding feature of this year's literary compositions has come. It will stand when many crown and chair odes have passed their way. It is unique, not only in theme, but in manner. The passages parodied from living authors reveal, in their novel setting, that much talked of delicate restraint (cynildeb) which is the essential ot this type of poetic art. Ger y Tan," the prize lyric, has not, however, met with the same general approval. There is also a feeling that the two productions which shared the prize for the group of three lyrics should never have been bracketed together. This makes us wonder whether, after all, our poets are satisfactory judges of their own art. OF the Liverpool Eisteddfod much has been written by friend and foe, and we do not oropose to use too much ink upon it. We do wish, however, to register a protest against the prevalent view that the National Eisteddfod has become so unwieldy that many of its own feat- ures, and many of those interesting events which NUMBER IX THE SEPTEMBER 1929 have come to be associated with it, should be jet- tisoned. This is sheer funk. The real trouble lies, not with the many-sided character of the Eistedd- fod and of its ever growing family of friendly and cognate societies, but with the fact that its organ- isation stubbornly refuses to move with the times. And it is those who cannot see this who are most clamant for condensing the programme -to enable them to cope with the problem, for- sooth. For the first place in inefficiency of man- agement, the Liverpool Eisteddfod will, we hope, never be challenged. Every Eisteddfodwr who was unfortunate to be there could but hang his head in sorrow. This must not be repeated. We feel sure it will not be repeated next year at Llanelly or the following year at Bangor; but even these towns will find it difficult to cope with the greatness of the institution unless some effort is made to secure expert and experienced admin- istrative guidance. This means a permanent organiser or organisers. It may be true that you cannot wind up the bards for a week, as you can wind up an eight day clock, and guarantee inviolate adherence to a time table. No one in his eisteddfodic senses would wish for such a thing. But what may be true of bards is not necessarily true of committees, secretaries and stage managers. The business end of the Eisteddfod needs urgent attention, and given this, it will be much easier to tackle the funda- mental problems of Eisteddfod Reform. WE have insisted for years that such problems exist and it is some satis- faction at last to find the whole people saying Amen." The danger, however, of this general agreement upon the necessity for reform is that it will result in hasty, ill-conceived, nar-