minstrel: The silence is deafening...

Heather Rose Jones hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Wed Jan 29 03:09:37 PST 1997

Since I'm sitting here awake at 3am with a fever and a cough that won't
let me sleep, I might as well do _something_ constructive.

On Tue, 28 Jan 1997, Ben Tucker wrote:
> How about Welsh Triads at ten paces?
> Write a triad in the form of the Welsh triads, on any medieval or SCA
> topic. Anyone who wishe to open a parallel discussion of what makes a
> "good triad" in terms of period welsh poetics is welcome to do so.

I'll go into that further in response to a different post, but for now I
will point out that while triads _could_ be expressed in verse form, this
was not the norm; so what makes a "good triad" would probably fall outside
the realm of poetics, per se.

> Here's one I wrote some time back.
> The three pillars of bardcraft:
> 	Respect of the Art
> 	Respect of the Audience
> 	Respect of the Crown

Here's a triad-containing poem that I wrote a while back in response to a
challenge on the Rialto. The challenge had as its topic something to the
effect of "the triumph of the valient against overwhelming odds" and I
picked as my subject the Welsh language. (Missed the deadline for that
challenge, though.) The translation is meant to be explanatory, rather
than poetic.

Trioedd yr Iaith (Triads of the Language)

Yn oes cadwr a brenin -- tri chynfardd,
Hardd yw prydu Aneirin,
Canodd Llywarc llawer flin,
Awen-ddrws, tlws, Taliesin.

Tri eu rhodd ganodd gynnydd serch -- hwyl da!
Hywel deg mab gordderch,
Llatai Dafydd dwg annerch,
A Gwerful gul, gloywferch.

Caerau a parha hyd Dydd Barn -- tri gwaith,
Cyfraith Hywel gadarn,
Dwned Einion saerni sarn,
Cyfiaith William, y dau ddarn.

Y byd yn ein erbyn yn hir -- trwy'r nos,
Tri pheth a oleu'n glir,
Yng ngwyll oer lloer a ellir,
Clyw a chof a dweud y gwir.

	* * *

In the age of warrior and king, three early bards,
Fair is the making of Aneirin,
Llywarch sang very wearily,
A door to inspiration, a jewel, Taliesin.

Three: their gift sang of the spoils of passion -- good luck to them!
Fair Hywel [the second half of the line is a pun, it can either mean "a
lover-boy" or "son of love, i.e., illegitimate son"]
Dafydd's love-messenger carries a greeting,
And slender Gwerful, a bright girl.

Fortresses that will last until the Day of Judgement -- three works,
Hywel's strong law,
Einion's grammar, constructing a road,
William's translation, the two parts.

The world against us for a long time through the night,
Three things shine clearly,
In the cold dark there can be a moon,
Hear and remember and speak the truth.

	* * *

Positive identification of the references is left as an exercise for the

Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn
(copyright Heather Rose Jones, all rights reserved)

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