knittingknots (knittingknots) wrote,

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Poem: Behind the Strong Door

Me playing around with old Arthuriana.  I took the images of two stanzas of the old poem The Spoils of Annwm, which are also related to old welsh stories about King Arthur, and tales from the Four Branches of the Mabinogi, and played with it some.  It talks about a place in the Celtic otherworld, Annwn, related somewhat to the Siddhe folk in Irish legend.    I better shut up now.  I can talk about This stuff all day.

Behind the Strong Door

Nine were the maidens
whose breath kindled the fire
beneath the rare cauldron
behind the strong door.

Black was its rim –
the cauldron that brewed wisdom,
the power of poets
to see beyond the veil.
No food for the coward
ever came out of it
in the keep of four corners
behind the strong door.

A sword that flashed like the sun
guarded the cauldron
behind the revolving gate
hidden by sea.
But when the light and the dark
blended together,
the door would be opened
for the whole world to see
the fortress of four corners
behind the strong door.

He weeps as he sits there,
the prisoner who tried
to test the old magic
by force of arms.
Found wanting, he weeps,
in a room of bright treasures,
as he sits there bound tightly
by a heavy blue chain,
while the wine cups are filled
and the harp strings are sounded
and the true poet declaims
to the folk ever young
in the keep of four corners
behind the strong door.

A/N This is me playing with stanzas one and two of the ancient Welsh poem  Preiddeu Annwn
Tags: arthurian, poem
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