Thursday, July 11, 2013

I AM.....

Amergin, bard and perhaps druid, was one of the Milesians, reputed to be the last conquerors of Ireland. At least until the Normans and English came along. This is a version of a poem attributed to him and may be one of the oldest poems in an Irish language. The identification with the natural world is strong and immediate. This is a more polished version than you usually see. Found it on the net.

I am the wind across a deep, wide lake.
I am the wave over the endless sea.
I am the stag of seven tines, racing through the woods
I am the eagle in the aerie, flying above the rocks
I am a flash of light from the sun above, bringing heat to those below
I am the blooming plants, bringing sustenance and beauty
I am a wild boar, powerful and strong
I am the salmon in the water, swimming endlessly upstream
I am the hill where poets stroll for inspiration
I am the head of the spear the draws blood in battle
I am the god that puts fire in the head and honor in the heart

Short excerpt from Bard by Morgan Llywylen. Iearne is one of the ancient names of Ireland. The suggested pronunciation is I Yearn.

In the novel the  Celtic invaders challenge the Tuatha De Danaan to battle for the possession of the island. The Milesians win the battle but, the morning after the battle all the bodies of the fallen Danaans are gone. And almost member of the race is seen again. This is Llywylen’s take on where they went. They gave up their physical bodies but that which is immortal is joined to the land and waters of their island. Shinnan is one of the few who did not join in the “unbodying.” She, uh, had her sights set on a certain poet. And the poet, quite frankly had had it with the increasing friction between himself and his brothers.

“Shinnan put her two small hands on his chest and he could see the pale glimmer of her face in the moonlight filtering into their glade. Then his vision seemed to change and was not in the glade any longer. Rather, he was of the glade; he was looking down on it from a higher perspective, aware of the life flowing through arteries, aware of strength, suppleness, and scurryings of insect industry beneath bark. Where he had arms and fingers he now sensed branches and twigs, and susurration of leaves. But he was not the tree; he was of the tree.

Then his comprehension shifted and he was of the brook, cold and earthbanked, endless motion. And he was of the stones, compressed by the weight of eons into a density beyond imagining, flickering with memories of ancient fires.

Then he was of a hill. Of a lake. Of the island of Iearne in a way so intimate it should have dissolved his individuality, but it did not. He was not melted into the land but was inhabiting it in its specific parts. He was still Amergin, Still himself and aware.

And he knew what had happened to the Tuatha De Danaan. They had not been driven out; they had not surrendered one pace of earth. They were all around him, in the night, joined to Iearne forever.”

Now try to imagine not just feeling the ties to the land, sea and sky but being joined so closely to everything around you. How much differently would be treat the world around us and perhaps, each other. 

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