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From: "Andrew Bollen" 
Subject: (urth) Trees & transformations
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 04:13:41 +1100

I noticed Robert Graves mentioned on the list a while back. I do get a sense
that Wolfe refers to Graves at times. Eg - in an interview somewhere, with
reference to Soldier in the Mist, he gives an account of the tranformation
of Delphi from an earth-goddess shrine, to a patriarchal Apollonian place:
it reads like something straight out of "The Greek Myths". And some of the
Moses and Odin/Hermes imagery in Short Sun/Long Sun is kind of Gravesian.

Anyway, fwiw I was catching up with Marc's rather beguiling tree theories,
which made me think for some reason of all the Celtic tree stuff in "The
White Goddess". And in particular, the story of Blodeuwedd, "Flower Face",
the woman made from flowers as wife for the hero Llew:

Not of father nor of mother
Was my blood, was my body.

I was spellbound by Gwydion,
Prime enchanter of the Britons,
When he formed me from nine blossoms,
Nine buds of various kind;
From primrose of the mountain,
Broom, meadow-sweet and cockle,
Together intertwined,
From the bean in its shade bearing
A white spectral army
Of earth, of earthly kind,
From blossoms of the nettle,
Oak, thorn and bashful chestnut -
Nine powers of nine flowers,
Nine powers in me combined,
Nine buds of plant and tree.

Long and white are my fingers
As the ninth wave of the sea.

(Graves' translation from the Welsh.)


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