An enormously versatile and prolific writer, translator, and critic, Robert Graves considered himself primarily a poet. Nevertheless, he became best known for his unorthadox historical novels about Rome and for his studies of the mythological and psychological sources of poetry. „The White Goddess” is perhaps his finest and the most popular of these works. In this book Graves explores the stories behind the earliest of European deities, the White Goddess of Birth, Love, and Death, who was worshipped under countless titles. She was beautiful, fickle, wise, and implacable, and in one of her later forms he is known as the Ninefold Muse, patroness of the white magic of poetry. In this brilliant tapestry of poetic and religious scholarship, Graves uncovers the obscure and mysterious power of „pure poetry” and its peculiar, mythic language.
The White Goddess 1 csillagozás
Eredeti megjelenés éve: 1948
Szereplők népszerűség szerint
Apollo / Apollón · Anubisz · Odin · kentaur · Heimdall · danaida · Galahad · Kronosz / Saturnus · Ariadné · Arthur király · Danaé · Guinevere · Herkules · Orpheusz · Sir Gawain · Thomas the Rhymer · Tláloc
Ez Graves egyik olyan műve, melyet magyarul még nem adtak ki soha. Magyarul sem lenne egyszerű olvasmány, eredetiben pedig igen megterhelő, de megéri! Folytatja a Görög mítoszok című könyvben kikövezett utat, de most már a kelták a főszereplők. És persze sok a hasonlóság. A kelta bárdok hagyományai alapján követi vissza a nyomokat a költészet segítségével az írás kialakulásáig, az ősi földanya és holdistennő tiszteletének szerinte matriarchális koráig. Műve olyan tudósok kutatásaival mutat rokonságot – gondolom, nem véletlenül, – mint Marija Gimbutas litván származású, amerikai régész-professzor, és a múlt század első évtizedeiben alkotó Jane Ellen Harrison klasszika-filológus mitológiakutató professzor. Hármukat tarják a jelenkorban divatba jött neopaganizmus megalapítóinak. Bár én úgy gondolom, ez azért nem igaz, a 3 tudós szándéka nem új vallás kialakítására, hanem az ősi idők kultúrájának mítoszon és költészeten, művészeten keresztüli megfejtése volt.
The Dog with which Aesculapius is pictured, like the dog Anubis, the companion of Egyptian Thoth, and the dog which always attended Melkarth the Phoenician Hercules, is a symbol of the Underworld; also of the dog-priests, called Enariae, who attended the Great Goddess of the Eastern Mediterranean and indulged in sodomitic frenzies in the Dog days at the rising of the Dog-star, Sirius. But the poetic meaning of the Dog in the Cad Goddeu legend, as in all similar legends, is 'Guard the Secret', the prime secret on which the sovereignty of a sacred king depended.
The lapwing's poetic meaning is 'Disguise the Secret' and it is her extraordinary discretion which gives her the claim to sanctity. According to the Koran she was the repository of King Solomon's secrets and the most intelligent of the flock of prophetic birds that attended him.
As for the White Roebuck, how many kings in how many fairy tales have not chased this beast through enchanted forests and been cheated of their quarry? The Roebuck's poetic meaning is 'Hide the Secret'.
So it seems that in the Cad Goddeu story elements of a Hercules myth, which in Greek legend describes how the Achaeans of Mycenae captured the most important tribal shrines in the Peloponnese from some other Greek tribe, probably the Danaans, are used to describe a similar capture in Britain many centuries later.
Perfect faithfulness to the Theme affects the reader of a poem with a strange feeling, between delight and horror, of which the purely physical effect is that the hair literally stands on end. A. E. Housman's test of a true poem was simple and practical: does it make the hairs of one's chin bristle if one repeats it silently while shaving? But he did not explain why the hairs should bristle.
If the story of Cad Goddeu concerns the capture of the national necropolis on Salisbury Plain from its former holders, this is most likely to have happened during either the first or the second Belgic invasion. Neither the coming of the round-barrow men, nor the Goidelic seizure of South-Eastern Britain, nor the Claudian conquest, which was the last before the coming of the Saxons, corresponds with the story. But according to Geoffrey of Monmouth's mediaeval History of the Britons two brothers named Belinus and Brennius fought for the mastery of Britain in the fourth century B.C.; Brennius was beaten and forced north of the Humber. Brennius and Belinus are generally acknowledged to be the gods Bran and Beli; and Beli in the Welsh Triads is described as the father of Arianrhod (Silver Wheel'), the sister of Gwydion and Amathaon. Amathaon evidently entered the Batde of the Trees as champion of his father Beli, the Supreme God of Light.
So the Cad Goddeu can perhaps be explained as the expulsion of a long-established Bronze Age priesthood from the national necropolis by an alliance of agricultural tribesmen, long settled in Britain and worshippers of the Danaan god Bel, Beli, Belus or Belinus, with an invading Brythonic tribe. The Amathaonians communicated to their Brythonic allies—Professor Sir John Rhys takes Gwydion for a mixed Teuton-Celt deity and equates him with Woden—a religious secret which enabled Amathaon to usurp the place of Bran, the God of Resurrection, a sort of Aesculapius, and Gwydion to usurp that of Arawn King of Annwm, a god of divination and prophecy, and both together to institute a new religious system in the place of the old.
Thus it is likely that the guessing of Bran's name was merely a clue towards guessing that of the Supreme God: Gwydion did not become Dis, nor did Amathaon; but they together displaced Bran (Saturn) and Arawn (Mercury) in their service of Dis, and redefined his godhead as Beli. But if so, was Dis originally Donnus, in fact Danu?
The ultimate origin of the god Beli is uncertain, but if we identify the British Belin or Beli with Belus the father of Danaus (as Nennius does), then we can further identify him with Bel, the Babylonian Earth-god, one of a male trinity, who succeeded to the titles of a far more ancient Mesopotamian deity, the mother of Danae as opposed to the father of Danaus. This was Belili, the Sumerian White Goddess, Ishtar's predecessor, who was a goddess of trees as well as a Moon-goddess, Love-goddess and Underworld-goddess. She was sister and lover to Du'uzu, or Tammuz, the Corn-god and Pomegranate-god.
And what is a mare's nest? Shakespeare hints at the answer, though he substitutes St. Swithold for Odin, the original hero of the ballad:
Swithold footed thrice the wold
He met the Night-Mare and her nine-fold,
Bid her alight and her troth plight,
And aroynt thee, witch, aroynt thee!
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