Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "The Might of the Mountain's Crown"

This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alexseanchai and [personal profile] alatefeline. It also fills the "liminal time" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.


"The Might of the Mountain's Crown"
-- a Rannaicheacht Mhor Gairit


On the height
of Cadair Idris, the might
of the mountain's crown is such --
it's too much for human sight.

If you spend
the night up there it will send
you mad (or a poet) so
if you go, heaven forfend.

It is wrong
to wait much beyond a song --
must you go? -- oh, do not stay
(overstay your welcome) long.

For the hounds
of Gwyn ap Nudd are the bounds
of where mortal minds may go,
don't you know, such fearsome sounds.


It is right
for me to go there tonight,
quench the fire in my head
(it is said). I'll be alright.

If the dawn
finds me poet, mad, or gone
then do not grieve overmuch --
I'm not touched, it is my dán.

* * *

Notes:

Rannaicheacht Mhor Gairit (great versification with “clipped” or shortened line) is:
• written in any number of quatrains.
• syllabic 3-7-7-7.
• alliterated, 2 word alliteration in each line.
• rhymed, rhyme scheme aaba ccdc etc.
• if L3 ends in a 2 syllable word, aicill rhyme is employed and the end word of L3 rhymes internally in L4.

Many legends speak of Cadair Idris, chiefly that anyone who spends the night there will wake "either mad or a poet." It is also considered a favorite hunting ground of Gwyn ap Nudd and the Wild Hunt, although often left out of modern retellings is the vital point that the hounds' rightful prey is traitors, not innocents.

Fire in the head is the Celtic word imbas, source of poetic/magickal/divine inspiration. In Celtic tradition, little distinction is made between madness, poetry, and mysticism. They are often equated or appear closely associated in the lore. Enjoy the song "Fire in the Head" by Emerald Rose.

dán -- Gaelic for "fate"
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fishbowl, history, linguistics, magic, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing
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