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Under the soil, go, go
black with his back bent
Crom Dubh grows the egg


waiting in the field to mow
Crom Dubh to harvest sent,
under the soil, go, go


sow the cold seeds below
split embryo, sweet skin rent
Crom Dubh shells the egg


from under the loam the stems grow
the good crop by the rain is bent
under the soil, go, go


the sickle lays the barley low
by the cromlech wail lament
Crom Dubh eats the egg


Against the wall the winds blow
black stone with the back bent
under the soil, go, go
Crom Dubh grows the egg.
A villanelle for my poetry module.

Crom Dubh was a Celtic fertility god, later considered evil, partly because of the connotations given by his name: "black and bent"

I also associated the cromlech - neolithic chamber tomb - with Crom Dubh, giving me the idea of the inherent cycle of fertility, seed to tomb.

There is a scottish saying about Crom Dubh involving an egg.


The image is a Wikimedia commons file that I've modified slightly. It's the Welsh Cromlech at Caer-dyni.
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:iconageofaenya:
AGEOFAENYA Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013  Professional Writer
Did you write this or is it taken from an old source? I really like the archaic sound of it. Too much poetry I find on deviantArt has a modern sound to it. I am looking for something similar in style to what you have here to add mood to my current novel. Contact me if you'd like to discuss a collaborative effort or just poetry in general. 
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:iconautumn-hills:
Autumn-Hills Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013  Professional Writer
Yes, I wrote this for my first year Poetry module during my Creative Writing degree.

I'm glad you like it. The archaic feeling is helped out by the villanelle form, I think. It has a kind of repetitive, chant-like quality.

What is your current novel about? And I'd be happy to discuss some kind of collaboration - it's in my personal ethos to make stuff with other people whenever possible.
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:iconageofaenya:
AGEOFAENYA Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013  Professional Writer

As you may or may not know, since ancient times, song and story have been interwoven. Think of the term 'ballad', 'opera', the 'Iliad' or 'Song of Roland.' This tradition is largely lost to us today, unfortunately, but we see reflections of it in things like 'The Hobbit'. For my story, I want to create an atmosphere of old tradition through song or lyrical poetry. My only problem is that I have very little experience working in rhyme or meter. The main character of the book is Princess Radia, you can learn more about her here: writersdisease.blogspot.com/p/…. In one scene, Radia is singing in a tavern. Her song transfixes whoever hears it. The theme is nature, but more specifically, how winter is a kind of death and spring a kind of rebirth. All I need now is the song. I am certainly in no hurry (I have two years to write the book) and I feel that the more we can discuss this, the better the results. Thanks for your help. 
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:iconautumn-hills:
Autumn-Hills Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2013  Professional Writer
Sounds interesting. I can definitely play around with this, see what comes out of it. Is there some background you can give me on her beliefs, culture, etc.? Is the cycle of seasons venerated through a kind of animistic pantheism, or are there deities that would be identified with life, death, rebirth, the seasons?

A character or narrative of ritual or myth to work on would be cool, if Radia's culture has that written in.

As for rhyme and meter, if it's a ballad in the very old style, where its vocalised from poetry as much as sung, then villanelle or a similarly strict structure would work quite well - they are quite difficult to craft, especially if they need to be lengthy.  
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:icony-o-d-h:
Y-O-D-H Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Beautiful, enigmatic and descriptive at once.
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:iconautumn-hills:
Autumn-Hills Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2010  Professional Writer
Thank you.
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:icony-o-d-h:
Y-O-D-H Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
:)
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:iconverhoffin:
Verhoffin Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010
Wonderful. :)

How sad and human that "black and bent" is assumed to mean "evil"... :(

Although it reveals a slight bias of mine, would I be correct in thinking that this was an opinion promulgated by Christians seeking converts? :)
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:iconautumn-hills:
Autumn-Hills Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2010  Professional Writer
I've tried to be unbiased. Crom Dubh was fertility, but it struck me that fertility shares its field with death.

After all, the last line returns to growth after death.
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:iconverhoffin:
Verhoffin Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2010
I believe you have remained unbiased.
And fertility is indeed interwoven with death...
Good old ouroboros :)
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:iconautumn-hills:
Autumn-Hills Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2010  Professional Writer
The worm...
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:icony-o-d-h:
Y-O-D-H Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Slight bias maybe, but grounded in historical fact. The phrase 'follow our cross or die' comes to mind. Murder in the name of religion is as old as religion itself.
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:iconautumn-hills:
Autumn-Hills Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2010  Professional Writer
Indeed.
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:icony-o-d-h:
Y-O-D-H Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
thanks for letting me vent
:)
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:iconautumn-hills:
Autumn-Hills Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2010  Professional Writer
No problem.
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:icony-o-d-h:
Y-O-D-H Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
:)
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010
A far better gift than either llamas or anything bought. Very well done.
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:iconautumn-hills:
Autumn-Hills Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2010  Professional Writer
You're welcome and thank you very much.
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