Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Tir-nan-Og

Poul Anderson, The Broken Sword (London, 1977), p. 95.

Wealth gleams in the streets of Tir-nan-Og and the caves of the leprechauns so the Sidhe cannot be bought with the promise of booty in Trollheim.

Tir-nan-Og is the Land of the Young and WB Yeats wrote:

"I HAVE drunk ale from the Country of the Young..."
-copied from here.

(I thought that he drank wine but the text says "ale.")

This boast sounds like the one in the Rig Veda:

"Have I not drunk Soma?" (see here)

Tir-nan-Og anticipated time dilation which Poul Anderson celebrated in Tau Zero. There seems to have been an ancient intuitive recognition that time is relative, not absolute.

Addendum: At secondary school in the Republic of Ireland, I read an Irish poem, see here. It begins "Ta Tir na nOg..." We translated "Is cat ag cru ne greine" as "The cat milking the sun."

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    SOMA??? I'm sure we are both familiar with how another author used that word! "Soma" was the name of the drug Aldous Huxley used in BRAVE NEW WORLD as one of the means used by the State to keep the people stupefied and quiet. The state used sex and Soma to keep the masses sated and obedient. I remember thinking that the dystopia we see in BRAVE NEW WORLD was more plausible in some ways than the thuggish brutality of Orwell's 1984.

    Sean

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