Set Theory, Logic and Their Limitations oIt s almost impossible to read the Plath study without this book apparently it was a huge influencen Plath while she was at Cambridge in the flat where she died there was a poster f the White Goddess tacked to the pantry door The book is interesting for the mythological and folkloric tidbits than the unifying thesis at this point I think the mythological connections are sound but I have some trouble believing that each and every true poet since the advent f Christianity has been engaged in a covert effort to conceal the heretical evidence and practice f true poetry from the masses If you don t attach any meaning to the words Dog Roebuck and Lapwing thank meThe accounts f superstitions though and the tracking The Stringbean Murders of certain myths across cultures are fascinating and I can definitely see Graves influencen Plath s sensibility and especially diction Also he has a number أساطير شعبية من قلب جزيرة العرب: الجزء الرابع of theories referencing Shakespeare that could blow some texts widepen Whilst some have disputed Graves historical inaccuracies im not reading this for its historical account but rather for its mytho poetical inventiveness and inspiration Stricken (Asphalt Cowboys, of which I would say that it delivers handsomelyThe attempt to reconcile the Ancient Hebrew Greek and Celtic civilizations with an AegeanTuath De Danaan Diaspora is fascinating and demands that the reader have a fairly wide background in cultural and mythological studies Speculatingn the Cad Goddeu The Battle The Sporty Game of the Trees a medieval Welsh poem from the Bookf Taliesin that the trees that fought in the battle in which each tree had a meaning and significance American Yakuza II of itswn Graves argues that the Inventions That Changed the World: Working Wonders original poet had concealed Druidic secrets about anlder matriarchal Celtic religion for fear Love Onboard: Cupid's Caribbean Cruise of censure from Christian authorities and that the battle was probably not physical but rather a strugglef wits and scholarship They did this he claims by employing the secret sign language called Ogham in this case the Tree Ogham in which each tree holds a representative symbol sound meaning set Vertical Mind: Psychological Approaches for Optimal Rock Climbing of mythologies and etcThe particular poem and its meanings is he claims further concealed by the devicef being pied Blood Love or mixed up with a further four poemsnly those in the know would be able to correctly untangle and decipher their riginal rderHowever and due to the excessive verloading f references and rigins at times it seems that Graves has almost become ne f his ancient Cambrian Awenyddion the magical minstrel poets who disguised their wisdom under the pretence f being possessed by spirits as they did not deliver the answer to what is reuired in any connected mannerbut the person who skillfully bserves them will find after many preamblesand incoherent though rnamented speeches the desired explanation conveyed in some turn DIY, Dammit!: A Practical Guide to Curse-Free Crafting of wordHe could not have described hiswn method perfectly persist and you will find his meanings become clearerNevertheless despite the erratic ver rich and ften bscure prose his reconciliation f the Tree Ogham Alphabet with the calender Civil rights, tool of communist deception of the Year the stationsf both sun and moon is an inspiring and potentially convincing demonstration f how the ancient mythographers may havecreated meaning and managed the seasonal and social rituals f their timesReaching further his exposition and extrapolation f Biblical and earlier mythologies and their themes is remarkableI value and recommend this work to any serious and patient reader who is preferably well read mytho historicallyfor its hidden gems its tremendous scope and its imaginative inspirational ualities Bright Blessings By Stone and Star Celestial Elf this is a massive endeavor and will take an eternity to read while i love cross referencing the divine feminine through
the mystical traditions i can nly take this book in small doses imagine the densest mystical traditions i can An Eastern Orthodox Response to Evangelical Claims only take this book in small doses imagine the densest fudge this is not for the faintf heart but a great resource i don t want to have to give it back to ira unread so wish me luck I would call this Joe Campell s Power The Claiming of the Shrew of Myth for grownups I ve been thinking about this book recently but I have to admit I never got than halfway with it Nobody else I know has either but what I did take from it was worth the struggle Hopelessly inadeuate summary Graves belives that literature and poetry are magic real magic These artsbjectively conjure effects the same way a ritual is supposed to work to make a deity present in the mundane world through a charm a rhythm even invoking a god s true name as Summoned opposed to Artemisr Hera In short a very unfashionable pinion even when it was written And the hip postmodern professors would laugh their heads ff at this book if they had ever read it that is Why do I think this is worth your time especially given the absurd difficulty f the thing Well it may be that Graves has touched n a failure Baghdad, Mon Amour: A Journey of Exile and Return of modern literature avant la lettre the language has lost its ancient ablity to conjure Nobody believes in it and nobody knows how to do it any and the art is as Graves says a discipline like biologyr genetics Graves was Dead Inside onef the last to see therigor in literature and poetry this way The ther important feature Graves brings ut is how few and very precise are the archetypes that excite and thrill us again through invokation not clever clever plot devices and intellectual tile patterns I The Taste of Spruce Gum often wondered why that experiencef being moved deeply through words is so rare in contemporary literature Now I think I know why I m nly giving it four stars because f the unnecessary difficulty Wow I finished it That may not mean much to you but it really feels like an achievement to me especially given that I have a long history She Stoops to Conquer of not reading this book Let me explain I received this copy fromne Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile of my favourite English teachers in the latter yearsf high school back in the mists Orb of time He was a wonderfully mad Celtic poet who I imagine shared a numberf similarities with that whacky scholar bard Robert Graves himself Indeed he called this strange tome his bible and I imagine he sent this my way since my major project for his class was a The Dandy and Lady Penelope one act play about Merlin and the grailthough I can t remember if he gifted it to mer lent it and I never returned it Let s go with the former if not mea culpa Mr Lafferty At the time my 16 17 year ld self really couldn t make heads r tails Multi-Family Therapy of it and it has since satn bookshelf as little than A Memento Of A memento National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 7th Edition of a teacher not to mention standing in my mind a representationf the world f crazy ddball ideasThe stensible purpose f the book at least in its early parts is to decipher an enigmatic Celtic poem regarding a war between the trees which Graves believes holds the key to unlocking a secret poetic alphabet that itself contained the mysterious and secret name A History of Prophecy in Israel, Revised and Enlarged of the divine Itpens Think good thoughts about a pussycat out into much however since inrder to do this Graves dives headlong into the mythic historical and poli. The White Goddess is perhaps the finest One, Two, Three Me of Robert Graves's worksn the psychological and mythological sources f poetry In this tapestry f
Review The White Goddess A Historical Grammar f Poetic MythTical mysteries f the past in a truly heroic attempt to apparently syncretize all mythic and therefore poetic truth into two warring factions the true and riginal feminine centred worship f the titular White Goddess in her many many forms characterized by the cyclical phases Tea for Ruby of the natural year the predominancef inspriation and intuition and the subserviant role The Life of Saint Philip Neri of the male principal as both son and lover ultimately personified in both king and poet and the Apollonion male centred worshipf the paternal Father r thunder god characterized by an adherence to logic political necessity and the following f clearly defined codes f law both religious and social as pposed to the loosely understood taboos I only Like the Fingers of the Guy I Hate, Vol. 1 of the earlier tradition which subsumed into itself manyf the The Whistle Pig original ruling characteristicsf the ancient Mother after it had apparently won the war in the hearts and minds f humanity thoughts f Hemispheres by Rush are f course now running through my headI wonder if Neil Peart read Graves Probably not r if he did his solution vastly differs from the Church Planting Is for Wimps: How God Uses Messed-Up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things one proposed by GravesGraves first and perhaps most significant hurdle involves uncovering the nuggetsf poetic truth apparently buried under an accretion A Stepdaughter In Heat of ancient stories and traditions both historical and mythic He is in essence an archaeologistf myth and I must admit that I find myself fascinated by Graves brand f anthropological mythography r is it mythographical anthropology which is Rufus onef his primary methods for uncovering the truth behind the many myths and stories he uses as his sources Stating the problem himself Graves says The poetic language f myth and symbol used in ancient Europe was not in principle a difficult ne but became confused with the passage You Are a Miserable Excuse for a Hero!: Book One in the Just Make a Choice! Series of time by freuent modifications due to religious social and linguistic change and by the tendencyf history to taint the purity f myth that is to say the accidental events in the life f a king who bore a divine name were ften incorporated in the seasonal myth which gave him the title to royalty 101Not surprisingly given the poem he is starting from Graves begins with the Celtic tradition tracing his understanding f its sources and meanings and can I just say that I find it intriguing that a man who apparently had no specific background in Celtic studies and I believe could not read r speak any Celtic tongue wrote so authoritatively n the hidden mysteries and true meaning behind a seminal Celtic poem and the supposed poetic alphabet that it concealed Perhaps surprisingly is the fact that Graves soon calls The Cowboys on his real areaf expertise the Greek myths drawing direct parallels between them and the Celtic mythic ideas he claims to see in the poem Graves doesn t stop here however and in addition to an apparently large Greek and by extension Roman influence he also sees parallels in Biblical Hebrew myths and ideas all Sins of Treachery of which he draws upon in his interpretationf the mysterious riddle poetry f the Celtic bard Gwion Taliessin A truly syncretic creation r discovery indeed Perhaps it simply speaks to the breadth and depth My Grandfather's Prison: A Story of Death and Deceit in 1940s Kansas City of the educationf earlier generations r to Graves belief in a syncretic theory f universal mythology as tied to poetic truth He has no issue with euating the mythological traditions Whos Next? Guess Who! of Greece and the Mediterranean with the Celtic and pre Celtic mysteriesf ancient Britain and Ireland For Graves it appears that all ancient worshippers f the White Goddess and the sun gods and solar heroes that at first served and then superseded her are apparently ultimately part f the same cult and inheritors f the same traditions
however garbled and changed by time and distance due to the aforementioned tendency f historygarbled and changed by time and distance due to the aforementioned tendency f history taint the puri I came for the witchcraft I stayed for the poetics While I was n my Flash Fiction Forward: 80 Very Short Stories one day book procurement trip to the booktownf Hay グライネリエ 1 [Grainerie 1] on Wye Wales I stopped at Richard Booth s bookshop among manythers and picked up Robert Graves The White Goddess I knew vaguely that the book was about the witch cults f Great Britain Graves s phrase for what he does is poetic scholarship and I m tempted to be generous and believe that what he means here really is thought that is associative and fleet as pposed to simply lazy The scholarship borders n parody Graves s assertions are made n what is essentially zero evidence But he follows his hind without faltering The First Socialist Society: A History of the Soviet Union from Within once and by the time 500 pages is up you do feel a sortf Palace The Coming Revolution in Youth Ministry of Wisdom effect has been achieved Where does that leave us For me reading this book is like walking through the preserved homef a reclusive genius Look there s his astrolabe his roomful File Under: Arson of scrolls his private exercise room fullf bright Wicked Sense orange pogo sticks You can distance yourself from his conclusions but the actual motionf thought is undeniable The book s a feat a thing but above all I think Graves All right let me honest and start by saying this was totally my favorite book in the entire universe when I was like 11 Hands down It gave me my first sense f what scholarship might be if it were actually funNow I did end up becoming a professional scholar and ne who probably does have too much fun for his Powerless Against You own good so perhaps a word here is inrderThose people who say the book provides zero evidence for its points all I can say is yeah that s right It s kind f a joke Or well Graves does insist that poetic truth is not a totally different truth not to be judged by prose criteria f truth but that it should always be at least true n the prose level and also something that something being magical profound etc etc But the uestion is always is that very assertion part f the joke as well Because what is magic It s something that s both true and a fraud a trick but it s true because you can carry it ff And what makes Graves so much fun is that he can always carry
"it ff when "off When says that he s solved some ancient mystery why are fish used as a symbol for Christ by time traveling in a poetic trance and The Texan Meets His Match overhearing a conversation between two Roman literari c100 AD he sbviously not asking to be judged by normal scholarly standards He s having fun and saying well tell me it isn t true What I love about Graves is that he writes about religious devotion f utter subordination to a terrifying entrancing but ultimately destructive goddess muse in such a way as to imply absolute subordination but in fact turns it into a license to do absolutely anything he pleases His biographers always seem to miss this presenting him as a sort f pathetic wimp in the sway f all these headstrong domineering women In fact you read books like this r even perhaps his essays The Heretic's Handbook (Kindle Single) on poetry and you meet someone utterly different someone who is having fun than any professional scholar would ever be allowed to soundingff Blue Guide New York on any topic in a way that s simultaneouslyutrageous ground breaking. Oetic and religious scholarship Graves explores the stories behind the earliest f European deities the White Goddess f Birth Love and Death. Profound world shattering and probably Garden of The Gods on some level also ridiculously untrue What s the real game and what s his aim in playing it That s half the fun You can never be completely sure But like any great theorist and to be honest I sometimes think Deleuze and Derrida etc are really doing exactly the same thing the point is not to spend the restf ur lives deciding whether we adore him like a god r revile him but to take it as a demonstration that it s possible to have just as much fun The Fruits of Graft: Great Depressions Then and Now ourselves That s what I did without ever realizing that s what I was doing And in retrospect I m not sure my career was better for it but my writing was and probably arguably the world is ifnly slightly Rambling nonsense when he steps beyond what he knowsMost f his ideas n the tree alphabet are his Musical Mathematics: On the Art and Science of Acoustic Instruments own and sourceless Unfortunately a lotf the celtic magic industry Goig owes too much to this as a gospelf sorts Better and scholarly book are Where Alligators Sleep out there if you can be bothered looking But they are without the glamourf Graves which I suppose is part Saraswati Park of the attraction to the sidhe huggersEditThis is a dreadful bookyet I ve read it twice the 1st time in the early 80s and again in 13 It hasn t gotten any better On the re read I read critically and cross ref d him After the 1st read I had a bee in my bunnet about his made up tree alphabet nonsense see above reviewn the 2nd read I now realise he just made up pretty much everything else tooGraves and I am a fanboy for most Ten Weeks with Chinese Bandits of histher work comes across as an arrogant arseHe seems to use the No True Scotsman attitude when discussing poetry He discounts any poetry as not being real r true poetry if it doesn t conform to his standards He seems to be saying you have to be f celtic stock whatever that means and a heterosexual male to be a poetand Young And Naive, Wasted Years only if you writen certain themes and have muse like inspiration at that cause that s all women are good forwell that and the Ebekulak orgies and temple prostitutionbviouslyAnd he makes no mention Israeli Soldier Girl of Burnsr Yeats who pretty much fit his definition sour grapes Understories on his partI like his fiction but I have the feeling he was a bitf a dickBut this book isn t really about poetry Commissar or historyyet it claims to be The historical evidence is hammered and moulded to fit his hypothesis with contradictory ideas ignoredr glossed Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook over Graves bases a chunkf his arguments n a re rdering The Firebrand Legacy of theld Welsh poem Cad Goddeu yet he has no Welsh and uses in his Making Instruments Count own words DW Nash s mid Victorian translation said to be unreliable but the best at present availableThen he goes ahead and juggles therderSee what s going The Kangaroo Pouch: A Story About Gestational Surrogacy For Young Children on hereHe s making it up basedn a poor translation hammering the facts to fit his hypothesisIf someone had no understanding f any ther text s riginal language and then used a poor translation prior to re rdering the entire text to fit an idea would we be as tolerantI hope notAnd this techniue isn t limited to this Treat one poem it is his default methodHe says amongstther things this must be a mistake and a stanza has been suppressed when he isn t getting the confirmation Ramayana Vol 1 of his hypothesis he wants He has re arranged entire poemsThere s a lotf perhaps likely seemed suggests bviously evidently in this bookthey miraculously transform into what Graves sees as solid fact at the end f ch7 conclusive proof Yet he has claimed fact is not truth but a poet who willfully defies fact cannot achieve truthSniff sniffwhat s that smellAlso he seems to show little demarcation between deities x appears to be y who is actually z but n closer inspection is really the same as y who is actually z but n closer inspection is really the same as who was worshipped as b etc etc etc This syncretism is all well and good but when the Venn diagram Desire Lines of deities ignores everything but the bits that fit his hypothesis and the focus is purelyn the verlap I start to
smell shite in the argumentI m with Francis Bacon when he saysshite in the argumentI m with Francis Bacon when he says root f all superstition is that men bserve when a thing hits but not when it misses Rambling havering keechdata ignored r manipulated poems re Clicking ordered poets sneered at women paradoxically praised and dismissed in eual measurehad he just been chucked by his wenchbirdmuse prior to thisr somethingI got the impression Graves was a bit xenophobic homophobic and sexist OK I don t know if he actually was homophobic etcbut he ccasionally makes comments that are a bit ff Now there may be a part Six-Fingered Stud of this due to him being a manf his timebut considering the hypothesis in TWG it jars a bit But there s an irony here though isn t there That a foundation text for modern wicca and neo paganism both fairly female friendly is this way How do folk suare it in their heads I think there female friendly is this way How do folk suare it in their heads I think there some cognitive dissonance going nAs a foundation text for modern paganism it ften appears in bibliographies and notes to bolster neo pagan ideasyet it has little substance itself Many Colomba of them unuestioningly use TWG as a source and assume an authenticity and robustness to Graves arguments that just isn t therelike building in a bog without making sure the pilings are solidHe has become an authority figure and this text is used again and again when discussing ideas around goddessy and sacred king type ideas yetn examination many areas he explores in TWG are his wn with little basis in ancient tradition I wonder if many folk that have read this have actually paid attention I mean critically read it Or if most just assume Graves is correct and then use him as refHe seems as enthusiastic about ritual killings and rgies as he is about the whole treecalendaralphabet thingyet I ve never known anyone that has read this book wax as lyrically Lizzie! on those subjectsAnd the drivel he spoutsn lame kings is interesting but still drivelBut I can get Graves text as a personal mythology and as something to give insight into his ther workand I get the fact that he had no intention f starting a pagan revival see his disdain for wicca and neo paganism in general in some f his work But for me it is pretty much all supposition based n guesswork based Snuff Club: An Extreme Horror Novel on reworkingf bad translationsNow I shall put this away and never touch it againafter I have driven a stake through the textthe stake I Remember Beirut obviouslyf a wood that has suitably mythopoeic resonances for true poets OK so Graves was dead wrong about the Celts Still the White Goddess thesis that patriarchal invaders suppressed the mother goddess religions Il russo of the Aegean and Ancient Near East tracesf which managed to survive in Europe especially in the minstrel lore As You Are: Ignite Your Charisma, Reclaim Your Confidence, Unleash Your Masculinity of Ireland and Wales is thanks to Graves now part and parcelf the modern The real fun Night of Delusions of the book isn t so much in its truth as the getting there a waterslide ridef educated guessing crossword logic and speculative buccaneering that reads like a postmodern novel than straight up scholarship Graves s is the grandmammy An Anteater Named Arthur of all conspiracy theories setting the stage for Pynchon Eco and Who was worshipped under countless titles He also uncovers thebscure and mysterious power Brutal Asset of pure poetry and its peculiar and mythic languag.