Thursday, 27 April 2017

Tree And Stars

Last night here, I linked wine in a novel, ale in a poem and soma in a Veda. But there are other conceptual links. Yeats' poem continues:

"I have been a hazel tree..."

Poul Anderson's The Avatar (London, 1985), Chapter I, begins:

"I was a birch tree..." (p. 1)

and ends:

"I was Tree." (ibid.)

The speaker in Yeats' poem becomes a rush and a man. The speaker in The Avatar becomes a moth, a salmon, a crow, a chimpanzee and a man. See here.

Stars hang in the hazel's leaves. The Pilot Star evokes navigation and Anderson's Hanno. The Starry Plough was an Irish flag. Anderson's readers remember Odin hanged and men hanged to him. "...times out of mind..." evokes the forgotten past and presents deeper meanings for readers of the Time Patrol. Yeats' man was "...a hater of the wind..."


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I remember the "I was" passages from Anderson's THE AVATAR. An effective literary device, altho of course the tree, moth, salmon, crow, chimpanzee were not actually self aware, self conscious beings. Rather, these were mythical symbols.


David Birr said...

Paul and Sean:
The "I was" passages MAY have been partly inspired or influenced, too, by a passage attributed to the bard Taliesin:
"I have been in many shapes:
I have been a narrow blade of a sword;
I have been a drop in the air;
I have been a shining star;
I have been a word in a book;
I have been an eagle;
I have been a boat on the sea;
I have been a string on a harp;
I have been enchanted for a year in the foam of water.
There is nothing in which I have not been."

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

Rather cool, these Taliesin lines! And, yes, PA may well have read that bard, given his interest in songs and poetry.