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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "The Swan-Children's Song"
This poem came from yesterday's Poetry Fishbowl, prompted and sponsored by synnabar. The tale of "The Children of Llyr" comes from Welsh tradition, and so I chose a Welsh form for this poem, the cyrch a chwta. It has very regular rhyme except for the end, where it doubles back on itself. I liked the way that echoed the twisting of time, memory, and body in this poem ... which plays on the image of swans as the animal of the soul, and how transformation can shake loose all sorts of unexpected things.

The Swan-Children’s Song
– cyrch a chwta (a Welsh form)

We are the Children of Llyr,
Cursed by our step-mother’s fear,
Turned into swans on the mere.
But she and our father dear
Never dreamed what we’d do here:
Recall lives of a lost year.
This is the thought that afflicts:
We were Picts, slain by Welsh spear.

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3 comments or Leave a comment
fayanora From: fayanora Date: October 17th, 2009 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I wish the Picts had survived. It'd be neat to see what they looked like.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 17th, 2009 07:00 am (UTC) (Link)


They may not have survived as a people, but their descendents still live, and every once in a while the old blood breeds true. Tiny people they are, smaller even than me, with dark hair and eyes, and moon-pale skin. People may talk about redhead temper, but oh, the Picts are like Scorpios. They'll chew your ankles off, piss in your soup, and open the latch to let your enemies kill you in your sleep. They were a popular people to conquer ... but never a safe one. I think this says it best:

Their tactics, too, live on. They had a gift for hiding and fighting unseen, for sabotage and deception. Yet they were a fine and honorable folk if you didn't dick with them.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: October 17th, 2009 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Cool. :-)
3 comments or Leave a comment