To Blodeuwedd

Deviation Actions

Leurindal's avatar
By Leurindal

Literature Text

O fairest maid of times flown by,
you came to be one autumn day,
to wed a man who had been cursed
to lead his life sans human wife.
From blooming buds of ochre broom,
his uncle wove your braided hair,
and let the breeze be your curls' comb
and spread your scent across the air.
From withered flow'rs of meadowsweet
he wove the webbing of your lungs;
from sturdy wood of dying oak
he carved the chambers of your heart.
But though he shaped your heart at will,
your heart was yours and yours alone,
and though you wed who he deemed fit,
you trailed your heart and yours alone.

And when you met another man,
and loved him in the way you could,
you schemed to kill your husband Lleu
and break the loathed chains for good.
You gleaned the knowledge of his flaws
and dreamed of birds uncaged and free.
You lured him into deadly snare,
the board set how 'twas meant to be.
But though the spear did strike its mark,
the wounded Lleu fast flew away,
and though you reigned in foolish bliss,
'twas not too long ere fate took sway.
Your man was slain in sore revenge
and you were turned into an owl,
to share alone the nightly grief,
to soar the depths, the wind-swept soul.

But though your fate was shaped at will,
your life was yours and yours alone,
and though you wed who they deemed fit,
you trailed your heart and yours alone.
my collaboration with :iconscarlettletters: - my poem, his visual art

Thank you very much Brendan for this collab! It has been a great pleasure!

Please make sure to give due credit (favs/comments) for his splendid artwork on: [link]
________________________________________ __________

About Blodeuwedd (from Wikipedia):

In Welsh mythology, Blodeuwedd is a woman made from the flowers of broom, meadowsweet and the oak by Math fab Mathonwy and Gwydion to be the wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Her story is part of the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi, the tale of Math son of Mathonwy.

Lleu Llaw Gyffes has been placed under three curses by his mother Arianrhod; the last of these dictates that he will never have a human wife. King Math and Lleu's uncle Gwydion create Blodeuwedd from flowers and she marries Lleu.

Blodeuwedd has an affair with Gronw Pebr and they plot to kill Lleu. Lleu can only be killed under certain conditions, and Blodeuwedd tricks him into telling her what these conditions are. He can not be killed indoors or outdoors, on horseback or on foot; and can be killed only by a spear forged when people are attending mass. Consequently he can only be killed whilst he had one foot on a bathtub and one on a goat (the bathtub being placed on a river bank but under a roof) and by someone using a weapon created as specified.

Under pretence of "Lord, will you show me how these conditions might be fulfilled..?", Blodeuwedd conveys him to precisely this situation, with Gronw lying in wait with the weapon. Lleu is (apparently) killed and Gronw and Blodeuwedd assume power. On hearing of this, Gwydion sets out to find and cure Lleu, who is now in the form of an eagle. Gwydion restores Lleu, who kills Gronw.

Gwydion curses Blodeuwedd, turning her into an owl. "You are never to show your face to the light of day, rather you shall fear other birds; they will be hostile to you, and it will be their nature to maul and molest you wherever they find you. You will not lose your name but always be called Blodeuwedd."

________________________________________ ___________

I hope you like it!
© 2009 - 2021 Leurindal
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
PaperDart's avatar
I like the pragmatic/romantic dichotomy I got from this. I think you've preserved the legend, but at the same time brought something more out of it. Great stuff!
Leurindal's avatar
thanks, Charli; much obliged :)
palleor's avatar
This is truly a beautiful piece of art!
Leurindal's avatar
eternal-proesia's avatar
It seems to be inspired of Epic legends, with strong images of the emotion...

I saw fields and heroism throughout a medieval romance...

Nice writing!


Eternal Proesia.

Heather-Chrysalis's avatar
I love mythology and I love your poem. Blodeuwedd is my favorite Welsh Goddess. You retell the myth beautifully.
Leurindal's avatar
thank you - very glad you like it :)
AchyJedi's avatar
OH! What a beautiful poem for a wonderful myth!
Leurindal's avatar
IRISHWSDM's avatar
Fine work!! :shamrock: awesome prose :shamrock:
Leurindal's avatar
thank you very much :)
Oddlyangelic's avatar
I really love this as a whole. your imagery and language are wonderful.

I do have a few critiques, though.

'your heart was yours and yours alone,
and though you wed who he deemed fit,
you trailed your heart and yours alone.'
you repeat 'your heart' and 'you' a LOT in these lines. the concept is lovely, but the repetition (at least for me) really distracts. I'd recommend replacing the first 'your heart' with 'your love,' but I don't really know what to do about the second one. :(
as for the repetition of the pronoun, it really only bothers me in the last line. maybe experiment with sentence structure so that there aren't quite as many?

'and you were turned into an owl,'
this line feels so plain compared to the rest of the poem. it's less... elegant, I think. a synonym for 'turned into' would remedy that drabness wonderfully. :)

overall, I really enjoyed this. It was creative, and the little explanation at the end was very interesting. If you just fix those two little qualms, this will be absolutely stunning. :)
Leurindal's avatar
thank you very much for your critique - I'm very grateful to you for sharing your thoughts :)

I'm a bit unsure about the repetition - I think that it may have its positive elements, in that stanza. I'll give your suggestion more thought :)

And I totally agree about that line being plain. It hadn't occurred to me - thank you very much for pointing that out! I'll look for possible alternatives when I revise this poem.

a last thank you to you, most appreciated! :heart:
Oddlyangelic's avatar
you're very welcome. ^__^
spoofdecator's avatar
well written and pulled me in like a funnel cloud! lovely and I enjoyed the tie to the myth...:)
Leurindal's avatar
thank you very much. I'm very glad you liked it :)
spoofdecator's avatar
yqw!! my friend.
UltimateOutlaw's avatar
This is haunting hotness. I so dig it. Breathtaking.
Leurindal's avatar
thank you, thank you, thank you!
nathanzachary's avatar
This poem is both lofty and worldly. Though there is eloquence and beautiful representations of the gamut of human emotion throughout, the last stanza serves as the internal archetype thereof:

"But though your fate was shaped at will,
your life was yours and yours alone,
and though you wed who they deemed fit,
you trailed your heart and yours alone."

Simply gorgeous, Len.
Leurindal's avatar
your comment is just as gorgeous :)
Friedemann's avatar
I was surprised how much of the myth I gleaned from the poem before I read the wikipedia excerpt.

Masterfully done Len, as always.

Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In