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Taliessin after the mass

2 June 2010

Taliessin thumbed the strings of his harp.
The mass was said, the people departed
To homes in the hills and the trackless wilds
Of his misty homeland of Wales, where
There hidden glens and grassy dales
Preserve forever a certain memory
Of the world’s youth; and in truth, Taliessin
Was weary as only one who makes verse can be–
The subtlety of language, the knife-thrusts
Of verb and verb-tense, the careful, fearful dance
Of noun and noun-case–herculean straining
With meaning against the more prosaic means
In vocal articulation. His station at the court
Student and master of students, bard
And the son of bards…ever uncertain
Burdened with the knowledge of things that are
(and should not be) and things that are not
(but should be), Taliessin slipped into reverie
There beside the rough-stone chapel where
The Arimathean was laid to rest, where still bloomed
His bishop’s staff, rooted into the ground–
The sound of distant thunder roused the king’s poet,
And in the whispers of the dark-sweeping twilight
He thought of Sophia sitting silent at her prayers,
Candles dimly illumining the brilliant icons on the walls–
His thoughts lost themselves in the memory of her beauty
And in the beauty of her sublime piety.
Taliessin thumbed the strings of his harp
While the hints of memories played with his heart.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 3 June 2010 03:56

    I Like this epic series, sir, and this one, well, this one is something else.

    • 3 June 2010 14:15

      Well thank you! Sometimes, I think the Taliessin poem are just a tad too obscure and out of step for people to really enjoy, so I always love hearing when someone does. And thanks for singling out this one–sometimes the most amazing things happen after a post-liturgy nap (even for the king’s poet).


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