Friday, 8 July 2016

Snow, Sea, Sun, Stars And Sidhe

Poul Anderson, The Broken Sword (London, 1977), Chapter XXI.

"...twilit snow...sloped down to the sea. An ember of sunset smouldered in the west. Darkness and stars rose out of the east..." (p. 147)

How often does Poul Anderson describe these most fundamental features of our physical environment?

smouldering embers on the western horizon
darkness rising in the eastern sky

Yet it is always fresh. The day-night cycle is our most basic shared experience.

Onto nature, we project mythologies:

Gulban Glas Mac Grici is one of the five guardians of Ulster;
Lugh of the Long Hand calls a council in the cave of Cruachan;
the Tuatha de Danaan and lords of the Sidhe attend;
on p. 149 are the names of leprechauns and the Tuatha De Danaan;
there is also a reference to Patrick who brought the White Christ from Whose Cross the gods must flee.

We met Patrick in The King Of Ys.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

If the pagan "gods" have to flee from the mere sights or names of the symbols of Christ, that does not make them very impressive gods to me, or gods at all.