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Bardic Wordsmiths

The roots of poetry are inextricably entwined with the mantic arts of invocation, memory and the inner realms. The high art of poetry as practised by the fili, the master-poets, brought them into a similar alignment with the wisdom practised by the druids. The sheer weight of training, of honing the memory and refining concentration, brought the fili to a pitch of magical dexterity. These skills were normally employed in evoking and portraying the ancestral stories of the tribe, in praising tribal leaders and heroes, and in aligning their listeners with the Otherworld. But these powers could also function in other, less pleasant ways.

The poet's chief power was primarily that of the world. Within the limits of natural justice, the poet was at liberty to make a satire if his fee had been unlawfully witheld or if his person had been subjected to insult or dishonour. Since the poet's prime function was to uphold honour by means of praise, or the recitation of ancestral wisdom and story which rebounded to the tribal honour, his worlds were carefully noted and his satires feared.

A poet could create magical changes in the landscape or in beasts, making both barren or his words could cause blisters on the face of his enemy. His satires might be no worse than a fiece lampoon which would be gleefully spread by gossips and so work its eventual result : to punish anyone who slighted him in a dishonourable and mocking light.

The Hanes Taliesin The Preiddeu Annwyn
Further Works by Taliesin The Song of Amergin
Further Works by Amergin I Shall Not Die For Thee
The Song of the Bard The Harp of Cnoc I'Chosgair
The Instructions of Cormac Extract from Y Gododdin
Invocation The Red Cat
Harp & Lute Untitled Works

"Three things that come unbidden : fear, jealousy, and love."
Celtic Proverb

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