(Poem) Annwn by Angelika Ruediger

Annwn1

 

b8839720-b3ab-4d62-9e77-7d3fb3dc0a79_zps95874d18Light of a

lonely candle

 

Yours is the

task to make us feel

 

The deep, the dark, the unknown.

 

 

You make

the darkness visible.

 

You bring

awareness of the veil

 

That we may

long to fall a droplet

 

Into the deep

unknown

 

Seduced by

the dark waters’ wanton whispers

 

To reach

out for the blessed beloved.

 

_______________________________

 1. Annwn or Annwfn is the name which is given in Welsh to an “otherworld“, which is complementary or, more accurately, inverse to the visible world of men. It is difficult to translate the meaning of this word, for “dwfn”, the second half of this word, could be traced back to either “deep” (dwfn) or dwfn with the meaning “world”. The first part is also of ambiguous meaning. The prefix an can mean either “not”, “very” or even “inner”. Thus possible meanings of Annwn are “Non-World”, the “Great Deep”, or “InnerWorld”.

Interestingly, the poem Preiddeu Annwn relates about a magical cauldron which is guarded by nine maidens, a motif which is certainly of interest for those who explore the meaning of divine or supernatural women in medieval Welsh literature.

___________________

The picture shows the White Spring at Glastonbury, which actually inspired the poem. The life of St. Collen (Buchedd Collen), which is found in early modern Welsh manuscripts, links Annwn to Glastonbury Tor. The manuscript relates that Saint Collen went to meet the king of Annwn, Gwyn ap Nudd, at mynydd glassymbyri which is interpreted by various scholars to be identical to Glastonbury Tor.

Further reading:

Maier, B 1994, Lexikon der keltischen Religion und Kultur, Alfred Körner Verlag, Stuttgart.

Haycock; M 1983/84, “’Preiddeu Annwn’ and the Figure of Taliesin” in: Studia Celtica, vol. XVIII/XIX, p.52-78.

Rhyddiaith Gymraeg, Y Gyfrol Gyntaf, Detholion o Lawysgrifau (1488-1609), 1954, Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru, Caerdydd, p.36-41.

Read Meet Mago Contributor Angelika Heike Ruediger.

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