One of the great innovators of medieval literature, Dafydd ap Gwilym's poetic voice is as distinctive and resonant as those of his more celebrated contempories Chaucer and Boccaccio. This book - the first major study of the largely submerged popular verse tradition of medieval Wales and itslikely enriching effect on the repertoire of the professional poets - examines Dafydd's use both of the native popular verse tradition and of the persuasive convention of northern French verse to forge a new kind of poetry for a new age. Composing in the wake of the Edwardian conquest of Wales, Dafyydd (fl. c. 1330-70) and a few kindred spirits sought to adapt and revitalize an already sophisticated bardic culture by expanding its subject matter to include a surprising variety of entertainment as well as formal praise. Huw M. Edwards sets out the first detailed comparison of Dafydd's verse with the highly influential poetry of northern France, in terms of themes, motifs and poetic genres since the publication of the authentic cannon in 1952. The poet's bold and often playful handling of borrowed conventions willbe of interest to all students of medieval poetry.