SUMMARY ☆ The White Goddess A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth

The White Goddess A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth

SUMMARY The White Goddess A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth

Who was worshipped under countless titles He also uncovers the obscure and mysterious power of pure poetry and its peculiar and mythic languag Whilst some have disputed Graves historical inaccuracies im not reading this for its historical account but rather for its mytho poetical inventiveness and inspiration of which I would say that it delivers handsomelyThe attempt to reconcile the Ancient Hebrew Greek and Celtic civilizations with an AegeanTuath De Danaan Diaspora is fascinating and demands that the reader have a fairly wide background in cultural and mythological studies Speculating on the Cad Goddeu The Battle of the Trees a medieval Welsh poem from the Book of Taliesin that the trees that fought in the battle in which each tree had a meaning and significance of its own Graves argues that the original poet had concealed Druidic secrets about an older matriarchal Celtic religion for fear of censure from Christian authorities and that the 'battle' was probably not physical but rather a struggle of wits and scholarship They did this he claims by employing the secret sign language called Ogham in this case the Tree Ogham in which each tree holds a representative symbol sound meaning set of mythologies and etcThe particular poem and its meanings is he claims further concealed by the device of being 'pied' or mixed up with a further four poems only those in the know would be able to correctly untangle and decipher their original orderHowever and due to the excessive overloading of references and origins at times it seems that Graves has almost become one of his ancient Cambrian Awenyddion' the magical minstrel poets who disguised their wisdom under the pretence of being possessed by spirits as they did not deliver the answer to what is reuired in any connected mannerbut the person who skillfully observes them will find after many preamblesand incoherent though ornamented speeches the desired explanation conveyed in some turn of wordHe could not have described his own method perfectly persist and you will find his meanings become clearerNevertheless despite the erratic over rich and often obscure prose his reconciliation of the Tree Ogham Alphabet with the calender of the Year the stations of both sun and moon is an inspiring and potentially convincing demonstration of how the ancient mythographers may havecreated meaning and managed the seasonal and social rituals of their timesReaching further his exposition and extrapolation of Biblical and earlier mythologies and their themes is remarkableI value and recommend this work to any serious and patient reader who is preferably well read mytho historicallyfor its hidden gems its tremendous scope and its imaginative inspirational ualities Bright Blessings By Stone and Star Celestial Elf Undercover Secrets have disputed Graves Amethyst historical inaccuracies im not reading this for its In My Own Words historical account but rather for its mytho poetical inventiveness and inspiration of which I would say that it delivers Jules et Jim handsomelyThe attempt to reconcile the Ancient Hebrew Greek and Celtic civilizations with an AegeanTuath De Danaan Diaspora is fascinating and demands that the reader The Memory Box have a fairly wide background in cultural and mythological studies Speculating on the Cad Goddeu The Battle of the Trees a medieval Welsh poem from the Book of Taliesin that the trees that fought in the battle in which each tree The Hometown Hero Returns (Home to Harbor Town, had a meaning and significance of its own Graves argues that the original poet Fever at Dawn had concealed Druidic secrets about an older matriarchal Celtic religion for fear of censure from Christian authorities and that the 'battle' was probably not physical but rather a struggle of wits and scholarship They did this Jogging Round Majorca he claims by employing the secret sign language called Ogham in this case the Tree Ogham in which each tree May Takes the Lead (Pony Tails, holds a representative symbol sound meaning set of mythologies and etcThe particular poem and its meanings is Quincy Jordan (Crystal Bay Girls, he claims further concealed by the device of being 'pied' or mixed up with a further four poems only those in the know would be able to correctly untangle and decipher their original orderHowever and due to the excessive overloading of references and origins at times it seems that Graves Death and the Penguin has almost become one of Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, his ancient Cambrian Awenyddion' the magical minstrel poets who disguised their wisdom under the pretence of being possessed by spirits as they did not deliver the answer to what is reuired in any connected mannerbut the person who skillfully observes them will find after many preamblesand incoherent though ornamented speeches the desired explanation conveyed in some turn of wordHe could not The Path of Initiation have described Emily Dickinson Poems his own method perfectly persist and you will find My Sisters Wishes his meanings become clearerNevertheless despite the erratic over rich and often obscure prose Flesh Wounds his reconciliation of the Tree Ogham Alphabet with the calender of the Year the stations of both sun and moon is an inspiring and potentially convincing demonstration of At Sixes And Sevens how the ancient mythographers may Mr. Piper and His Cubs havecreated meaning and managed the seasonal and social rituals of their timesReaching further A More Christlike Way his exposition and extrapolation of Biblical and earlier mythologies and their themes is remarkableI value and recommend this work to any serious and patient reader who is preferably well read mytho Once Upon a Crime historicallyfor its The Shadow Writer hidden gems its tremendous scope and its imaginative inspirational ualities Bright Blessings By Stone and Star Celestial Elf

CHARACTERS ´ SIGMAENCLOSURES.CO.UK ¸ Robert Graves

The White Goddess is perhaps the finest of Robert Graves's works on the psychological and mythological sources of poetry In this tapestry of p OK so Graves was dead wrong about the Celts Still the White Goddess thesis that patriarchal invaders suppressed the mother goddess religions of the Aegean and Ancient Near East traces of which managed to survive in Europe especially in the minstrel lore of Ireland and Wales is thanks to Graves now part and parcel of the modern The real fun of the book isn't so much in its truth as the getting there a waterslide ride of educated guessing crossword logic and speculative buccaneering that reads like a postmodern novel than straight up scholarship Graves's is the grandmammy of all conspiracy theories setting the stage for Pynchon Eco and us

Robert Graves ¸ 1 SUMMARY

Oetic and religious scholarship Graves explores the stories behind the earliest of European deities the White Goddess of Birth Love and Death I came for the witchcraft I stayed for the poetics While I was on my one day book procurement trip to the booktown of Hay on Wye Wales I stopped at Richard Booth’s bookshop among many others and picked up Robert Graves’ The White Goddess I knew vaguely that the book was about the witch cults of Great Britain and something about druids and that’s about it I had read several works that referenced Grave’s book so I thought I’d cut to the source and see what all the fuss was about I had expected an erudite study of witchcraft and its antecedents replete with thorough bibliography and oodles of footnotesNot soIn fact the book hardly mentions witches by name at least at all and there is no bibliography There are some footnotes but they are sometimes even cryptic and self referential than the text itself But I was far from disappointedThe White Goddess is one of those books like Gödel Escher Bach or Hamlet’s Mill a rumination of sorts that only a genius will fully understand on the first read through a work rife with speculation and some arguably false jumps in logic but a brilliant work nonetheless It is above all Grave’s very well informed opinion I’ve read other reviews panning the work and I had my problems with it but I don’t think that it should be rejected wholesaleIt is a deep deep well to draw the waters of knowledge from Yes Graves jumps from god to goddess from tree species to alphabetic characters from stag cults to bull cults then from the masculine bull cult to the feminine partridge cult implicating everyone from Achilles to Christ in the process and ends with a horribly trite last couple of chapters about politics and religion that could and should have just been abandoned Graves isn’t apologetic about his promulgation of his own opinions and the fact that he is openly exploring the subject as he writes either I find it commendable actually that at one point he openly admits that some of the answers to the uestions he was exploring came to him as he was meditating as in doing a formal meditative practice He’s not beholden to the sometimes stultifying idea that ideas need to come in some sort of controlled laboratory environment In fact Graves shows a certain disdain toward formal academia especially as it dulls the poetic senses there are no poetic secrets now except of course the sort which the common people are debarred by their lack of poetic perception from understanding and by their anti poetic education unless perhaps in wild Wales from respecting Such secrets even the Work of the Chariot may be safely revealed in any crowded restaurant or café without fear of the avenging lightning stroke the noise of the orchestra the clatter of plates and the buzz of a hundred unrelated conversations will effectively drown the words – and in any case nobody will be listeningI wonder somewhat though whether or not Graves was trying to inoculate himself against arguments from the outside that perhaps the rigor of his research was lacking While I feel sympathy and agreement with Grave’s anti University tirades he has a couple in the book both reflective of some of the feelings I had and have about graduate school I also fear that populist anti intellectuals might use his arguments as justification for their own usually racist andor misogynistic goals Though Graves only really argues against the problems of formal college education his sentiments could easily be twisted into anti intellectual arguments the sort of which feed reactionary movements But since he takes a secularized view of Christianity and in fact pushes for a further split between the views of the Historical Jesus and the Mystical Christ such reactionary movements are likely to become very confused by Graves’ work Besides the gaps in Graves' arguments regarding early Christianity are big enough to drive a semi through Still I like his chutzpah and the fact that he's willing to play the provocateur as he forces the reader to think about exactly why he's wrong It's almost like he's taunting his audience into reactingAs a result of all this deconstruction and reweaving of myth it is very difficult to pin down Graves theses One thesis is that of the poetic continuity of the worship of The White Goddess in ancient times through the Irish and Welsh poetic traditions by way of the Greeks mainly the Dannites if I understood correctly and even further through the cult of Mary and Jesus Much of the last half of the book is dedicated to these arguments I found them somewhat convincing but I still have strong doubts about a few of his inferences regarding some sects of Christianity and the Jewish tradition from which they stemmedAnother thesis that I find of great interest is that the true language of the goddess is traceable through the correlating of evidences in the Ogham alphabet relating to certain trees which correspond in turn with positions on a dolmen which correspond with calendrical events which correspond with the fingers and palms of the hand which correspond with certain animals which Yes it gets exhausting at times My interest waned and was about to leave me altogether when the book posits that specific positions on the fingers and palms of the human hand correspond with specific letters in the Ogham alphabet When I read this and the example given it clicked This was Thieves’ Cant or a mystical esoteric euivalent Hidden coded messages couched in a poetic language of signs Of course this was 300 pages in but well worth the waitThough there are many other sub theses that I will not address the third thesis that I found to be of most interest was probably incidental than central I also found it to be the most poignant It has to do with methodology and echoes with some of the same laments as the earlier uoted paragraph Graves says What interests me most in conducting this argument is the difference that is constantly appearing between the poetic and prosaic methods of thought The prosaic method was invented by the Greeks of the Classical age as an insurance against the swamping of reason by mythographic fancy It has now become the only legitimate means of transmitting useful knowledge And in England as in most other mercantile countries the current popular view is that ‘music’ and old fashioned diction are the only characteristics of poetry which distinguish it from the prose; that ever poem has or should have a precise single strand prose euivalent As a result the poetic faculty is atrophied in every educated person who does not privately struggle to cultivate it very much as the faculty of understanding pictures is atrophied in the Bedouin Arab TE Lawrence once showed a coloured crayon sketch of an Arab Sheikh to the Sheikh’s own clansmen They passed it from hand to hand but the nearest guess as to what it represented came from a man who took the sheikh’s foot to be the horn of a buffalo And from the inability to think poetically – to resolve speech into its original images and rhythms and re combine them on several simultaneous levels of thought into a multiple sense – derives the failure to think clearly in prose In prose one thinks on only one level at a time and no combination of words needs to contain than a single sense; nevertheless the images resident in words must be securely related if the passage is to have any bite This simple need is forgotten what passes for simple prose nowadays is a mechanical stringing together of stereotyped word groups without regard for the images contained in the The mechanical style which began in the counting house has now infiltrated into the university some of its most zombiesue instances occurring in the works of eminent scholars and divinesI may not agree with the vociferousness of Grave’s obvious rancor but I agree with the premise We have lost the mindset of poetics having surrendered to a stiff logic that doesn’t allow for the breadth of poetic expression and in fact mocks it as an obfuscation of clarity But this obfuscation was intentional meant to keep the secrets of the mystical cults of the past to hide the mysteries of life and the universe to all but the initiated The initiated have been suppressed in the modern age As a result the skill of poetic interpretation has died on the vine and we may never be able to bring it back However I feel that there will always be a poetic underground that does the work necessary to carry on the essential esoteric tradition of the bards I hold a hidden hope

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *