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Author Topic: Brighid and Poetry  (Read 3622 times)

rocquelaire

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Brighid and Poetry
« on: August 03, 2011, 05:23:22 pm »
I was thinking that since we are focussing on Brighid's role as Patroness of Poetry it would be interesting to talk about what that means to us.

So, what do you see "poetry" as encompassing?

Do you have any favourite stories from the mythology about this aspect of Brighid?

Any UPG you'd like to share?
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Juni

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Re: Brighid and Poetry
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2011, 09:07:01 pm »
Quote from: rocquelaire;10440


 
Good thinking, Rocquelaire. :)

To me, Brighid the Poet is the tender of the Flame of Inspiration and the Well of Knowledge; she sings the song that invigorates our souls, she weaves the threads of our lives into the tapestry of history.

Poetry in the ancient world encompassed a lot more than just what we consider poetry today, and I use that broader definition when I think of Brighid's role. To me poetry encompasses all creative writing, along with music, history and genealogy. As a writer, I do associate poetry with the written (or sung) word, but they do say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and I think a lot of art can have a very poetic quality or theme.
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Nyktipolos

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Re: Brighid and Poetry
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2011, 06:39:53 am »
Quote from: Juni;10493
To me poetry encompasses all creative writing, along with music, history and genealogy.

 
!!!

WHAM! Light bulb!

Damn.. why did I never consider that before? It would certainly tie in with a lot of my ancestry hunting. Hmm.
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rocquelaire

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Brighid and Poetry
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2011, 07:00:25 am »
Quote from: rocquelaire;10440
This is the aspect of Brighid that I find hardest to connect to. I'm not a poet. I used to enjoy creative writing but I haven't done it for many years now. I'm not especially interested in my family history.

So far the only connection I've been able to make is to interpret poetry widely and to encompass knowledge in general. This way I can associate my constant thirst for knowledge with Her. My studies in Law seem appropriate to Her. But other than that I'm at a bit of a loss with this aspect. That's one of the reasons that I wanted to take part in this exchange - to force myself to look deeper and try to connect better with Her in this way. And if I can't connect at the very least my work in creating something for a Cill mate related to poetry will be an act of honouring Her.

Has anyone else struggled like this?
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Morag

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Re: Brighid and Poetry
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2011, 07:58:07 am »
Quote from: rocquelaire;10440
So, what do you see "poetry" as encompassing?


Everything.

Poetry is sex and magic and death. It's the very air that moves through the lungs of all life; it's that feeling you get, the current of life-death energy, when you connect -- I mean really connect - and that can happen when you draw down a god or goddess or when you look at how the leaves blow in the wind and it takes your breath away for a second.

Primal energy. Brighid is primal energy of fire, and poetry is primal energy of fire. Brighid is poetry; She embodies it; Poetry embodies Her.

Like fire, it creates and destroys, because the two are one. It's ephemeral, short lived, like a gasp, a prayer, an orgasm. (For a relative value of "short".)

Quote from: rocquelaire;10440
Any UPG you'd like to share?

 
Uh, all that above. ^_^
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Aster Breo

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Re: Brighid and Poetry
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2011, 05:19:40 pm »
Quote from: rocquelaire;10765

So far the only connection I've been able to make is to interpret poetry widely and to encompass knowledge in general. This way I can associate my constant thirst for knowledge with Her. My studies in Law seem appropriate to Her.

 
I'm with Juni in interpreting the concept of poetry to include all learning, education, wisdom, and arts.  From what we know about the ancient Celts, poetry was mostly the domain of the druids, and so much of their learning and teaching was wrapped up in poetry.  

So, for me, when I think about poetry in the context of Brighid, I think of learning, education, and wisdom, as well as written poems and other kinds of creative writing.  And even performing arts.  (Dance = "poetry in motion")

I tend to take a broad view like this of all of Brighid's traditional associations.  Healing is so much more than curing an individual's physical illness or injury.  Smithcraft can encompass many kinds of shaping, creating, joining together, etc.  That's how I arrived at the idea of Brighid as a "patron" of social justice and advocacy.  Advocates look at the parts of society that are broken and work to fix them through joining with other groups, forming coalitions, and developing better policies and laws.  That process includes -- in a metaphorical sense -- healing (fixing society problems), smithcraft (building coalitions and creating policy), and poetry (learning about problems, educating the public and policy-makers about issues and solutions, crafting legislation and supporting material).

Just my $0.02.  ;)

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AlisonLeighLilly

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Re: Brighid and Poetry
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2011, 11:54:21 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;10829
I'm with Juni in interpreting the concept of poetry to include all learning, education, wisdom, and arts.  From what we know about the ancient Celts, poetry was mostly the domain of the druids, and so much of their learning and teaching was wrapped up in poetry.  

So, for me, when I think about poetry in the context of Brighid, I think of learning, education, and wisdom, as well as written poems and other kinds of creative writing.  And even performing arts.  (Dance = "poetry in motion")

I tend to take a broad view like this of all of Brighid's traditional associations.  Healing is so much more than curing an individual's physical illness or injury.  Smithcraft can encompass many kinds of shaping, creating, joining together, etc.  That's how I arrived at the idea of Brighid as a "patron" of social justice and advocacy.  Advocates look at the parts of society that are broken and work to fix them through joining with other groups, forming coalitions, and developing better policies and laws.  That process includes -- in a metaphorical sense -- healing (fixing society problems), smithcraft (building coalitions and creating policy), and poetry (learning about problems, educating the public and policy-makers about issues and solutions, crafting legislation and supporting material).

 
I couldn't figure out what to quote from your post, Aster, because all of it seems to relate really well to what I was going to write!

I've been thinking a lot about Brighid's triple character. (Cosmological tangent: So, for me, Brighid has different... levels (eh, I don't like that word but it's the best I can do right now). At one level, she embodies a kind of polarity or duality, fire and water, light and dark intermingling. At another level, she has this triple aspect or character, that for me is related somewhat to the three Druidic elements (nwyfre, gwyar and calas, which I think of as force, flow and form) and the three realms (land, sea, sky). These aspects find expression in the "ten thousand things" of the natural world, human culture and experience, etc., but they also lead back to or are a part of an original Mystery of creativity or unity as well, giving her a kind of primordial/cosmic nature. Sorry if this doesn't make any sense... I'm only just beginning to articulate it.) So - where was I? Oh yeah! In thinking about Brighid's triple character, I see poetry, healing and smithcraft as kind of metaphors or symbols of three broader aspects: inspiration, integration and transformation.

For me, poetry is a symbol of inspiration. Inspiration is like the sudden spark of insight or vision, the in-breath of spirit or deity into our lives. It can be completely disruptive and transgressive, coming in and tearing down our assumptions about how the world works and how things fit together. I think the best poems are the ones that juxtapose radically different ideas or images, that play with the sound and meanings of words in ways that allow us to see  and hear them in completely new ways. In modern poetry (in a literate society like ours), another defining feature of a poem is often its structure or format on the page - it's set off in verses and stanzas, so that the white, empty space of the page makes a kind of frame around it and sets it off as something special, not just ordinary prose. Oral performances of poetry are a kind of performance art themselves, in which the voice of the poet weaves a vision out of surrounding silence for those who are listening. This is like inspiration - it can come unexpectedly out of an empty sky!

So when I think about Brighid's aspect as patron of poetry, I think of it in this broader sense - whatever is inspiring and allows us to see things in radically new ways. Music, art, storytelling, education and learning all fall under that aspect to a certain extent.

But I also see inspiration - because it is something radically different, something that can seem to come from "outside" ourselves - as being part of a process, and integration and transformation are the two other aspects of that process. With the in-breath of divine inspiration, we're left with a rift in our old worldview that requires us to seek healing (even if only metaphorically), so that we can establish a new sense of wholeness or completeness that now includes the insight or vision we've gained from inspiration. When we find that new wholeness or integration for ourselves, we can then bring that vision out into the world around us - we become active participants in transformation, changing and shaping others. When we do this, though, we are actually creating new opportunities for inspiration - we bring something new and unique to others that might become a spark for them, and we also will face new challenges that will be new sources of inspiration for ourselves, so there's a cycle or process there that feeds itself.

Inspiration that isn't followed by healing and integration, on the other hand, can lead to madness. I think that's why there's such a strong link between poetry and madness in Celtic mythology, with divinely inspired poets and seers being driven mad and fleeing society to live in the wilderness among the wild beasts. It's almost as though the vision and insight of divine inspiration breaks open the ordinary human mind.... and maybe spending time in solitude out in the wilds is actually one way of coping with the necessary process of healing and becoming whole again (especially if you're seeking a wholeness which remains open and doesn't require you to shut back down, which I think sometimes living in "civilized society" with its laws and restrictions and social boundaries can cause people to do).

Anyway, so that's my rambling. :) I don't know if it was helpful or not... I tend to think that anything that helps us break open our expectations of the world and inspire new insights into how things are and how we fit into it all is an expression of Brighid's "poetic" side. :)

--Ali

Finn

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Re: Brighid and Poetry
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2011, 01:51:16 pm »
Quote from: AlisonLeighLilly;12601


 
*nod nod*  I've thought a lot about the exact same stuff, Ali, and weirdly have come to a lot of the same conclusions. (Though I guess that may not be so surprising? ;))

I thought a lot about the triplicate process of inspiration, integration and transformation particularly when I first started my relationship with Brighid. The link between poetry and madness was particularly interesting to me in terms of the (established) link between depression and creativity.

These conclusions form part of the reason why I believe Brighid has a special concern for depressives and melancholics, particularly melancholic poets (I tend to use the word "poet" as a synonym for "artist"). Depressive artists often hover on the brink between something frightening and real and holy and their own work. And if they can move toward the light, they have the potential to transform that darkness into something others can see.
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AlisonLeighLilly

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Re: Brighid and Poetry
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2011, 02:27:52 pm »
Quote from: Finn;12623
The link between poetry and madness was particularly interesting to me in terms of the (established) link between depression and creativity.

These conclusions form part of the reason why I believe Brighid has a special concern for depressives and melancholics, particularly melancholic poets (I tend to use the word "poet" as a synonym for "artist"). Depressive artists often hover on the brink between something frightening and real and holy and their own work. And if they can move toward the light, they have the potential to transform that darkness into something others can see.

 
Yes, definitely. That makes a lot of sense to me. It also makes sense in the context of her healing aspect as well, in a literal and metaphorical way.

It also works well with this connection between Samhain and poetry that we're exploring through the Cill Exchange - this connection to death and darkness. I wonder if anyone else has any thoughts on that connection in particular?

--Ali

JuniperMorgan

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Re: Brighid and Poetry
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2011, 03:23:56 pm »
Quote from: AlisonLeighLilly;12627

It also works well with this connection between Samhain and poetry that we're exploring through the Cill Exchange - this connection to death and darkness. I wonder if anyone else has any thoughts on that connection in particular?

--Ali

 
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Fagan_the_Pagan

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Re: Brighid and Poetry
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2011, 03:24:16 am »
Quote from: Morag;10769
Poetry is sex and magic and death. It's the very air that moves through the lungs of all life; it's that feeling you get, the current of life-death energy, when you connect -- I mean really connect - and that can happen when you draw down a god or goddess or when you look at how the leaves blow in the wind and it takes your breath away for a second.

Primal energy. Brighid is primal energy of fire, and poetry is primal energy of fire. Brighid is poetry; She embodies it; Poetry embodies Her.

Like fire, it creates and destroys, because the two are one. It's ephemeral, short lived, like a gasp, a prayer, an orgasm.

 
This entire post is poetry.  Beautiful, Morag!

I'm not sure that I am QUITE as open with my definition of poetry as others, but I do think it extends beyond what we think of it as being nowadays.  I think it at least applies to artful storytelling, and to music.  Although we also acknowledge "poetry" in any well-put or striking turn of phrase, or in any number of circumstances, so my definition may be too narrow.
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Morag

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Re: Brighid and Poetry
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 03:39:33 pm »
Quote from: Fagan_the_Pagan;36811
This entire post is poetry.  Beautiful, Morag!

 
Thank you!
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Kelly Ann

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Re: Brighid and Poetry
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2012, 11:09:13 am »
I love your description!  I am very excited to announce that I have finally published my poetry and art book "Seasons of Time: The Journey of Living"  I have been working on it for a few years and I know Brighid has been the inspiration I needed to see it through.  

Go here to see a preview of the book http://www.seasonsoftime.com/

I plan to work on some of my unfinished novels next.  

Quote from: Morag;10769
Everything.

Poetry is sex and magic and death. It's the very air that moves through the lungs of all life; it's that feeling you get,

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