Category Archives: Symbolism

We are bees of the invisible… Rilke from a letter to Halewicz

geheimnisse-einiger-philosophen-und-adepten

“We are bees of the invisible. We wildly collect the honey of the invisible, to store it in the great golden hives of the invisible.”

Rilke often refers to the invisible, especially in his Duino Elegies, which he wrote during a particularly mystical period of his life. In a letter to his Polish translator Witold Hulewicz in November 1925, he wrote: ‘We of the present are never satisfied by the world of time…transience everywhere plunges into the depths of being…it is our task to print this temporal, perishable earth so painfully, passionately and deeply into ourselves, that its essence is resurrected again, invisibly, within us…the Elegies show this, the work of endlessly converting the visible, tangible world we love into the invisible vibrations and tremors of our own nature…’

He was quite passionate about the “Temple within” and the interior life, whereas he saw the outside world as transitory and fragile.

In another letter, written in 1925, commenting on his Elegies, he wrote: “‘…the Angel of the Elegies is that creature in whom the transformation of the visible into the invisible, which we perform, appears already complete.’ [..] ‘that being who attests to the recognition of a higher level of reality in the invisible – Terrifying, therefore, to us because we, its lovers and transformers, still cling to the visible’.

Here are some good links on Rilke’s work and his letters

http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/German/TheFountainOfJoy.htm

http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft8779p1x3&chunk.id=d0e1921&toc.id=d0e1494&brand=ucpress

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/rainer-maria-rilke

I became a little (more) obsessed with Rilke after reading a chapter focusing on his work in this book:
http://www.jameshollis.net/books/archetypal.htm

(edited to include more details from comments)

originally posted 2012

Jaq

The Romantic Symbolism of Trees

abbeydeadtreesCaspar David Friedrich, “Abbey among Oak Trees” (1809-10)

The Romantic Symbolism of Trees by Allison Meier

“As with the Victorian language of flowers, specific trees have their own symbolism. Reverend William Gilpin, an artist and cleric, stated it “is no exaggerated praise to call a tree the grandest, and most beautiful of all products of the earth.” In the form of the tree, artists found expressions of life, death, and the great beyond.

A Dialogue with Nature includes work both from the Morgan’s works on paper holdings, and the Courtauld Gallery in London, and emphasizes this “cult of nature.” Here are some of the meanings of trees in Romantic art that are evoked in the exhibition, as well as in the landscape tradition of the time.”

Link to the full article http://hyperallergic.com/131541/the-romantic-symbolism-of-trees/

forest sunset

Arkhip Kuindzhi (1842-1910) Sunset in a Forest

I wish I had time to upload my folder of Trees in art.. maybe in a future post.. ~ Jaq

The Turning Sky | Lapham’s Quarterly

“The god Horus is a falcon (the word for which in hieroglyphs is qhr, the falcon’s cry). In the third surviving column of text, remarkably, the falcon is marked with a triangle, the hieroglyphic designation for the star Sirius. As if it were a mathematical proof unfolding before my eyes, I saw that if the falcon marked by the triangle is Sirius, the fire is the light of dawn in which the gods—the things marked holy by the hieroglyphic prayer flags—are stars. The baboon’s penis is in actuality a familiar sight: the Sword of Orion (the three stars under Orion’s belt), which rises directly before Sirius on the path of rising stars. The hieroglyphic lines on the wall express an immediate, visual moment in the physical world: the dawn rising of Sirius signaling the rising of the Nile, the key moment of the Egyptian agricultural year. The clear, repetitive, and simple hieroglyphic lines read not as a magic spell but as a finely machined poetic riddle: The Sword of Orion opens the doors of the sky. Before the doors close the gate to the path over the fire Beneath the holy ones as they grow dark, As a falcon flies, as a falcon flies, may Unis rise into this fire, Beneath the holy ones as they grow dark. They make a path for Unis. Unis takes the path. Unis becomes the falcon star, Sirius. That this was the case was borne out by the text as I translated further. Beautifully constructed verses presented one vivid astronomical reference after another: Taurus (“Would that the bull break the fingers of the horizon of earth with its horns. / Come out. Rise.”), the full moon (“the face, the head, the eye”), the North Star (“the axis at the center of the wheel”), the Dippers (“the arms of night”), the Milky Way (“the ladder to heaven”). The verses of the Pyramid Texts map the night sky as a detailed seasonal clock reliably predicting the most critical resource of all: water. Egyptian civilization came out of radical climate change—cattle herders whose grazing land was rapidly becoming desert as the water dried up in the climate shift of the Neolithic, much as is happening in Texas and around the world today.

The verses present a sequence of poetic images in which the human body is transformed back into its elements in the visible universe of the turning sky. The remnant essence of a human life rises as a star in the east: “moses” (the hieroglyphic word for infant) in “the field of rushes” (the eastern stars at dawn). The infant star is the child of “she who gave birth but did not know it” (the sky). The sky is a flood of cool darkness across which sail the stars: Sirius and its evil twin, “the detested wild dog Set,” the second brightest star in the sky, Canopus, the rising of which signals the autumn rains with their deadly flash floods and thunderstorms. Through this glittering wetland of stars wanders the golden calf, the golden crescent horns of the moon.

This extraordinary convergence of poetry, science, and religion resides not only in the writing but in the pictures within the words themselves. Osiris is a phonetic rendering of a hieroglyphic rebus: the seat of the eye, the universal corpse in which resurrection is not a religious mystery but an inevitability of nature. In the Pyramid Texts, hieroglyphic vocabulary is rich with images: The body is a tree. The snake is the life in it. The fruit of the tree is the eye. What is being expressed is the intelligence of nature itself in the ongoing process of creation: the death, decay, and rebirth of plant and animal life in the cyclical year. One familiar religious trope after another appears not as literal historical fact used to proscribe, threaten, and dictate the parameters of human life but as poetic imagery used to bring to life the awareness of our fragile and beautiful world. The richness of these images is echoed in the Book of Job: “As for the earth, out of it cometh bread, and under it is turned up as it were fire. The stones of it are the place of sapphires, and it hath dust of gold.” The Pyramid Texts are not magic spells or religious prescription any more than this. Instead, the text takes up a key question: Where shall wisdom be found?

…over the fire
Beneath the holy ones as they grow dark,

As a falcon flies, as a falcon flies, may Unis rise into this fire,

Beneath the holy ones as they grow dark.

They make a path for Unis. Unis takes the path.

Unis becomes the falcon star, Sirius.

 

Would that the bull break the fingers of the horizon of earth with its horns.

Come out. Rise.

Poetry and religion arise from the same source: the perception of the mystery of life. Early Egyptian writing belongs to this eternal language. The vehicle at work is associative thinking, in which metaphors act as keys to unlock a primeval human sense of the integrated living world. The meaning may not come across on the pedantic level, but on the poetic level it is transparent.”

Source: The Turning Sky | Lapham’s Quarterly

Susan Brind Morrow

Susan Brind Morrow’s translation and analysis of the Pyramid Texts, The Dawning Moon of the Mind: Unlocking the Pyramid Texts, was published in 2015. She received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in 2006.

Visualization in Medieval Alchemy – alchemy as a science and an art aimed at the transformation of species

In Arabic classifications of science and philosophy, which were adapted in the twelfth century, alchemy was defined as a sub-branch of natural philosophy (scientia naturalis), sharing this definition, above all, with medicine. Thus, about ten years after the first translation of an alchemical text into Latin (Morienus, De compositione alchimie), Dominic Gundissalinus described alchemy as belonging to physics in his De divisione philosophiae (ca. 1150).[6] It was a science and an art aimed at the transformation of species

In the thirteenth century, representatives of Platonically-oriented cosmology and natural science such as Robert Grosseteste (1175-1253) defended a systematic use of geometrical representation. Following Grosseteste, “all causes of natural effects must be expressed by means of lines, angles, and figures, for otherwise it is impossible to grasp their explanation”.[24] The corresponding theory of knowledge was neo-Platonic and Augustinian. The intelligible order underlying the physical, corporeal world was thought to be apprehensible by the divine part of the soul, by the ‘eye of the soul’, and geometrical figures (as well as number patterns) were used as ‘ladders’ leading to eternal truths.

The early fifteenth-century Aurora consurgens marks a further step in the elaboration of pictorial metaphors combined with glass vessels. The oldest and most spectacular copy of this document dates from the 1420s (Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, ms. Rh. 172). On a purely pictorial level, an inventive and high-quality artist developed a core of recurrent alchemical metaphors that relate to human and animal procreation, the dismemberment of bodies (symbolizing calcinations and putrefaction) and motifs such as the eagle and the dragon, which denote mercury as a volatile and as a solidified substance, respectively.[75] In and around glass vessels, the artist metaphorically depicted stages of operation relating to the alchemical art of transformation as well as cosmological and philosophical principles of the art, such as “two are one” and “nature vanquishes nature”. Two or more principal metaphors are frequently combined within a single picture, reflecting the increasing use of chains of metaphors. For instance, one of the illustration combines the motifs of Mercury decapitating the sun and the moon with a vase filled with silver and gold flowers

Figure 11: Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, ms. Rh. 172, fol. 27v. Aurora consurgens (ca 1420-30). Mercury in the form of a serpent decapitating the Sun and the Moon. Gold and silver flowers in a vessel on the fire.

For the full article from which these extracts were taken, go to the link below

Source: HYLE 9-2 (2003): Visualization in Medieval Alchemy

The Redemption of Saint Anthony | The Public Domain Review

Gustave Flaubert, best known for his masterpiece Madame Bovary, spent nearly thirty years working on a surreal and largely ‘unreadable’ retelling of the temptation of Saint Anthony. Colin Dickey explores how it was only in the dark and compelling illustrations of Odilon Redon, made years later, that Flaubert’s strangest work finally came to life.

via The Redemption of Saint Anthony | The Public Domain Review.

The Hermetic Papers of A. E. Waite and his idea for The Hermetic Text Society

 

banner-planeten.

‘The Hermetic Text Society was a pipe-dream of Waite’s that never proceeded further than the issuing of this breathtaking prospectus’, A.E. Waite’s bio-bibliographer R.A. Gilbert intriguingly observed with reference to a 14-page pamphlet issued by Waite in 1907.  Searching the Internet for ‘The Hermetic Text Society’ only yields a few references, all to the now sadly defunct American periodical Cauda Pavonis: The Hermetic Text Society Newsletter. Of Waite’s Hermetic Text Society’s ‘pipe-dream’ there is not a trace on the world wide web; in print, fortunately, there is Gilbert’s brief but informative description of Waite’s ‘grandiose affair’ in the biography which he published in 1987.  

At the time Waite laid down his plan for a Hermetic Text Society, he had already been in control for a few years of the Isis Urania Temple of the collapsed Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which he had re-named ‘The Independent and Rectified Rite’ (with the implicit and tacit addition of ‘of the Golden Dawn’). Waite had diverted the Order away from magic towards mysticism, altogether in line with his belief that there was a secret tradition underlying all esoteric paths, whether mystical, alchemical, kabbalistic, Rosicrucian, masonic or other, which led to direct experience of God. On the professional side of his life, he was wrapping up his career as a commercial manager for Horlick’s, manufacturers of malted milk. Waite wrote in his autobiography Shadows of life and thought that at this time, prospects ‘of a new life’ opened before him: these prospects were related to definitively establishing himself as an authority and an exponent of the ‘secret tradition’. His Hidden church of the Holy Graal, published in 1909, was to be its first product.

Gilbert writes that the idea for the Hermetic Text Society had been suggested to Waite by the gnostic scholar G.R.S. Mead, who had reviewed Karl von Eckartshausen’s The cloud upon the sanctuary in the translation of Isabelle de Steiger for the Theosophical Review in 1903. Waite had written an Introduction for the book, which had caused Mead to enthuse: ‘If only someone – and why not the scholarly mystic who writes this Introduction? – would play Max Muller to the “sacred books” of the Christian mystics from the XIVth to the XVIIIth centuries, what a feast there would be for hundreds of thousands of starving souls!’ – Cis van Heertum for The Ritman Library

more text at the link http://www.ritmanlibrary.com/collection/hermetica/the-hermetic-text-society-fl-1907/

What is Alchemy? by A.E. Waite
The Introductory Notes are taken from “Hermetic Papers of A.E.Waite”, edited by R.A Gilbert (Aquarian Press,1987). The text of “What is Alchemy?” reproduced here is scanned from the periodical “The Unknown World”, and formatted and corrected by hand at[Adepti.com]
THERE are certain writers at the present day, and there are certain students of the subject, perhaps too wise to write, who would readily, and do, affirm that any answer to the question which heads this paper will involve, if adequate, an answer to
those other and seemingly harder problems- What is Mysticism? What is the Transcendental Philosophy? What is Magic? What Occult Science? What the Hermetic Wisdom? For they would affirm that Alchemy includes all these, and so far at least as the world which
lies west of Alexandria is concerned, it is the head and crown of all. Now in this statement the central canon of a whole body of esoteric criticism is contained in the proverbial nut-shell, and
this criticism is in itself so important, and embodies so astounding an interpretation of a literature which is so mysterious, that in any consideration of Hermetic literature it
must be reckoned with from the beginning; otherwise the mystic student will at a later period be forced to go over his ground step by step for a second time, and that even from the starting point. It is proposed in the following papers to answer definitely
by the help of the evidence which is to be found in the writings of the Alchemists the question as to what Alchemy actually was and is. 

Jung’s Active Imagination | Reality Sandwich

“More abstractly,  it’s a method of consciously entering into a dialogue with the unconscious, which triggers the transcendent function, a vital shift in consciousness, brought about through the union of the conscious and unconscious minds. Unexpected insights and self-renewal are some of the results of the transcendent function. It achieves what I call that elusive ‘Goldilocks’ condition, the ‘just right’ of having the conscious and unconscious minds work together, rather than being at odds. In the process it produces a third state more vivid and ‘real’ than either; in it we recognize what consciousness should be like and see our ‘normal’ state as at best a muddling-through”

by Gary Lachman

Jung’s Active Imagination | Reality Sandwich.

Those heights are not conceivable or comprehensible by minds not completely free

I’m re-posting this old nugget as it is directly related to the 2 most recent that I have posted; Know Thyself: self-observation for the purpose of understanding ourselves “both as Individuals and Part of the Whole.”

This was Tavaglione’s introduction to his tarot deck. In creating the Stairs of Gold Tarot, he was inspired by these words from Dante’s Paradiso, “I saw a stair the colour of gold, on which shone a ray of Sun, which raised itself so high that my eyes could not see the top….”
Jaq

“I would do nothing else but pick flowers, and wander through meadows and gardens, gathering all the beautiful and most coloured my eyes and my spirit could see…but it happened that when I picked the first coloured diamonds, my curiosity flew up and I would “know” and I would “learn”.  And while at first my questions were limited only to their aspect, and I would know many Petal-Facets had the Diamond-Flowers I was picking, later I would know their Inmost Secret Light, their Why.

As I could not study all the Flowers my eyes took in, I devoted myself to the nearest ones, trying to understand with them, all the others, seeking inside them the Key that would permit me to open every other Door.
And then I realized that the more I penetrated the “Particular”, the more I descended to the “Depth”, the more I rose to the “General”.  So to understand that infinity of the Flowers around me, I began to study, with great care, One of Them, that could mean the most to me, the nearest one: myself.
And I tried to discover how many facets had that Flower-Diamond; its Cut, its Axis, it’s Colours, its Transparency, its Scent, to penetrate its innermost recesses, the “Secret Rooms” where are preserved the Most Intimate Values, the Hidden Treasures concealed by Veils.
To reach them I found it was anything but simple, because still before entering, I should curb the Beast that guarded them, the Animality always excluded from any Architecture, and any Rationality of Thought, bestial and resentful, because of its inferiority, it must be subdued by Fight and physical Strength or by Command and Moral Strength: once curbed it will be a tractable companion, but like every subdued wild beast, it will always assault us, when hesitating.
After the Beast, there is the Labrynth, consisting of 78 rooms, and 3×7 = 21 Gates; in every Room there are Prizes and Traps, Traps playing on what remained inside us, of the false ideas or the mental distortions that follow us from the preceding rooms, with which we must do away, and the Prizes playing on our Intuition and Illuminations that let us know, on the grounds of what we have learnt till now, what awaits us in the next room and that will be clear only in the future.
The 21 Gates are unforeseen gleams on the future and though one can find some difficult ties to reach and pass them, he has the Certitude of his Growth and the Consciousness of his accomplished conquest, that instill new life into his desire to go on Knowing and infuse him with new courage to face future difficulties.
The Utmost Gate, that closes the Utmost Room, the Sancta Sanctorum, is the Gate of Totality, the Conclusion that leads to our Essence, complete of everything Spiritual and Material.  When we will overcome that Utmost Barrier, we will be Ourselves, at the height of our Beings conscious of our Liberty, both as Individuals and Part of the Whole, Then behind the Veil, stretched between the Two Colums, the Black one and the Red, we will foresee the Roots of the Tree, that through its 10 points, will lead us up to heights where neither the most presumptuous of men can imagine, because those heights are not conceivable or comprehensible by minds not completely free.”
– Giorgio Tavaglione: Introduction to The Stairs of Gold Tarot Deck.
12 Pendu

Eos – The Light of All-Seeing Dawn

T19.12Helios

 

Eosphoros, god of the morning star, Venus, leads the procession of the day: the chariots of Eos, the dawn, and Helios the sun. Eosphoros is depicted as a handsome young winged god with a shining aureole upon his head. Helios and Eos likewise appear as aureole crowned youths, each driving a four horse chariot (quadriga). Beneath the chariot wheels are dancing fish and dolphins, to indicate their dawn rising from the sea.

“The light of all-seeing Dawn (Eos).” -Theogony 404f“

When the young Eos (Dawn) showed again with her rosy fingers.” –Iliad 1.477

“The goddess Eos drew close to tall Olympos with her message of light to Zeus and the other immortals.” –Iliad 2.48-49

“Dawn (Eos) the yellow-robed scattered over all the earth.” –Iliad 8.1 & 24.695

“Eos rose from her bed, where she lay by haughty Tithonos, to carry her light to men and to immortals.” –Iliad 11.1

“Eos the yellow-robed arose from the river of Okeanos to carry her light to men and to immortals.” –Iliad 19.1-2

“Eos (Dawn) comes early, with rosy fingers.” –Odyssey 2.1, etc. (repeated many times)

“The goddess Eos, who had slept beside Lord Tithonos, was rising now to bring light to immortals and to mortals.” –Odyssey 5.1

“When Eos of the braided tresses had ushered in the third day.” –Odyssey 5.390, 10.144

“Forthwith came Eos in her flowery garment.” –Odyssey 6.48

“Eos appeared in her flowery cloth of gold.” –Odyssey 10.540, etc

“The ship [of Odysseus] in due course left the waters of the river Okeanos and reached the waves of the spacious sea and the island of Aiaia; it is there that Eos the early-comer (Erigeneia) has her dwelling place and her dancing grounds, and the sun himself has his risings [so therefore must be located in the far East]. We came came in; we beached our vessel upon the sands and disembarked upon the sea-shore; there we fell fast asleep, awaiting ethereal Dawn.” –Odyssey 12.1-6

“That brightest of stars appeared [Eosphoros] that most often heralds the light of early-rising Dawn (Eos Erigineia).” –Odyssey 13.93

“Eos in her broidered robe as she rises from the streams of Okeanos.” –Odyssey 22.195

“Rosy-fingered Dawn (Eos) when she appeared might have found them still in melting mood, but Athene of the gleaming-eyes turned her thought to another stratagem. She held back the night to linger long at the horizon, checking Eos of the broidered robe at the edge of Okeanos and bidding her not to yoke as yet the rapid horses that bring men light, Lampos and Phaithon, the young steeds of Eos … When it seemed to her [Athene] that Odysseus had has heart’s content of both love and sleep, forthwith she roused up Eos (Dawn) of the broidered robe from Okeanos to bring light to mankind again.” –Odyssey 23.244f

“There was an assembly on snowy Olympos, and the immortals who perish not were gathering after the hour of gold-throned (khrysothronon) Eos.” -Homeric Hymn IV to Hermes 326-328

“As when descends Eos (Dawn) from Olympus’ crest of adamant, Eos, heart-exultant in her radiant steeds amidst the bright-haired Horai (Hours).” -Quintus Smyrnaeus 1.48

“[Eos] Phaesphoros Erigeneia (she who brings Light to the world, the Child of Mists of Night) … began to climb Heaven’s broad highway.” -Quintus Smyrnaeus 2.185

“From Okeanos then uprose Eos (Dawn) golden-reined: like a soft wind upfloated Hypnos (Sleep) to heaven.” -Quintus Smyrnaeus 5.395

“Rose Eos (Dawn) from Okeanos and Tithonos’ bed, and climbed the steeps of heaven, scattering round flushed flakes of splendour.” -Quintus Smyrnaeus 6.1

“For Helios the Sun’s lot is toil … from the moment rose-fingered Eos (the Dawn) leaves Okeanos and goes up into the sky.” –Mimnermus Frag 12

“Lady (Pontia) Eos .. golden-armed (khrysopakhos).” -Greek Lyric I Sappho Frag 6

“Golden-sandaled (khrysopedillos) Auos [Eos].” -Greek Lyric I Sappho Frag 103

“Hesperos, bringing everything that shining Auos [Eos] scattered, you bring the sheep, you bring the goat, you bring back the child to its mother.” -Greek Lyric I Sappho Frag 104

“Lady Auos [Eos].” -Greek Lyric I Sappho Frag 157

“Rosy-fingered Eos.” -Greek Lyric II The Anacreontea Frag 35

“For the Pleiades, as we carry a plough to Orthria (Goddess of the Morning Twilight), rise through the ambrosial night like the star Sirius.” “I long to please Aotis (Dawn-goddess) most of all, for she proved the healer of our sufferings.” -Greek Lyric II Alcman Frag 1

“When white-cheeked Aos [Eos] climbs the heavens, early-born (Erigeneia).” -Greek Lyric III Ibycus Frag 284

“Aas [Eos], leaving the waters of Okeanos, drew from the sky the moon’s holy light.” -Greek Lyric IV Corinna Frag 690

“Gold-armed (khrysopakhos) Aos.” -Greek Lyric IV Bacchylides Frag 5

“On a dark-blossoming sea Boreas rends men’s hearts with the billows, coming face to face with them as night rises up, but ceases on the arrival of Aos (Dawn) who gives light to mortals and a gentle breeze levels the sea, and they belly out their sail before Notos’ breath.” -Greek Lyric IV Bacchylides Frag 13

“The lovely light of immortal Aous.” -Greek Lyric IV Bacchylides Frag 17

“White-horsed Aos as she brings light to men looks down.” -Greek Lyric IV Bacchylides Frag 20C

“Eos’ horses went racing up the sky today, bearing her all rosy from Okeanos’ bed.” -Theocritus Idyll 2.145f

“When Ge learned of this, she sought a drug that would prevent their [the Gigantes] destruction even by mortal hands. But Zeus barred the appearance of Eos (the Dawn), Selene (the Moon), and Helios (the Sun), and chopped up the drug himself before Ge could find it. ” -Apollodorus 1.34-38

“Radiant Eos with her bright eyes beheld the towering crags of Pelion [ie the mountain was touched by the light of Dawn].” –Argonautica 1.519

“At the hour when bright-eyed Eos comes up to light the eastern sky, and all the paths stand out and the fields glisten with dew.” –Argonautica 1.1280

“Eos (Dawn) arrived, showing herself betimes above the snows of Kaukasos.” –Argonautica 3.1224

“Eos’ (Dawn’s) celestial beams chased black Nyx (night) from the sky.” –Argonautica 4.1170

“And while the daring boy [Phaithon] in wonder gazed, Aurora [Eos], watchful in the reddening dawn, threw wide her crimson doors and rose-filled halls; the stars took flight, in marshalled order set by Lucifer [Eosphoros] who left his station last. Then, when Sol [Helios] perceived the morning star setting and aw the world in crimson sheen and the last lingering crescent of the moon fade in the dawn, he bade the nimble Hours go yoke his steeds.” –Metamorphoses 2.113f

“Aurora [Eos] rising with dewy hair.” -Metamorphoses 5.446

“When on his milk-white steed Luciferus [Eosphoros the Morning-Star] rides forth, or when, bright harbinger of day, Aurora [Eos] gilds the globe to greet the sun.” –Metamorphoses 15.88

“Tithonus’ wife [Eos] drops dew from her saffron cheeks and drives the time of the fifth morning.” –Ovid Fasti 3.403

“When Pallantis [Eos the dawn] next gleams in heaven and stars flee and Luna’s [Selene the Moon’s] snow-white horses are unhitched.” –Ovid Fasti 4.373

“Memnon’s saffron mother [Eos] arrives to view the widening earth on rosy horses.” –Ovid Fasti 4.713

“Hyperion’s daughter [Eos the dawn] expels the stars and lifts her rose lamp on the morning’s horses, cold Argestes (the North-West wind) will caress the topmost ears of corn.” –Ovid Fasti 5.159

“Aurora [Eos] had chased from heaven the dewy darkness, was carrying the sun’s torch far and wide over the earth.” –Aeneid 4.12

“And now was Aurora [Eos], leaving the saffron bed of Tithonus, beginning to shower upon earth the light of another day.” –Aeneid 4.585

“Tithonus’ bounteous wife [Eos], ruffling the sea with the new-born sunlight.” –Valerius Flaccus 1.310

“The fires of the maid Pallantidos [Eos daughter of the Titan Pallas] grow faint in the east, the land lightens.” –Valerius Flaccus 2.72

“Tithonus’ bride [Eos] dissolved the chill shadows and uncurtained the heavens.” –Valerius Flaccus 3.1

“And now Aurora [Eos the Dawn] rising from her Mygdonian [her husband Tithonos’] resting-place had scattered the cold shadows from the high heaven, and shaking the dew-drops from her hair blushed deep in the sun’s pursuing beams; toward her through the clouds rosy Lucifer [Eosphoros, the morning-star] turns his late fires, and with slow steed leaves an alien world, until the fiery father’s [Helios the Sun’s] orb be full replenished and he forbid his sister to usurp his rays.” –Thebaid 2.134

“The bright consort of Tithonus [Eos the Dawn] had shown in heaven her toil-bringing car, and Nox [Nyx, night] and Somnus [Hypnos, sleep] with empty [sleep-inducing] horn were fleeing from the pale goddess’ wakeful reins.” –Thebaid 6.25

“It was the time when Phoebus’ [Helios the Sun’s] fiery sister [Eos the Dawn], hearing the sound of his yoked steeds and the roar of Oceanus’ cavernous abode beneath the gathering dawn, collects her straying beams and with light flick of whip chases the stars away.” –Thebaid 8.271

“Not ye had the wakeful dawn put all the stars to flight from heaven, and Luna [Selene the Moon] was beholding the approach of day with fading horn, what time Tithonia [Eos the Dawn] scatters the clouds in hurrying rout, and prepares the wide firmament for the return of Phoebus [Helios the Sun].” –Thebaid 12.1

“Eos (Dawn) in her car was just speeding back from Okeanos in the East and marking great space of sky with slowly brightening light, dispelling night.” –Tryphiodorus 670

“So oft hath Tithonia [Eos goddess of the dawn] passed by my groans [from lack of sleep], and pitying sprinkled me with her cool whip [the dewy whip with which she chases away the stars].” –Silvae 5.4.1

“Aurora [Eos the Dawn] with her crimson trapping brandished her rosy arm and began to driver her chariot across the sky.” –Apuleius 3.1

“[Zeus to Helios:] ‘I will hide you and the daughter of the mists [Eos] together in my clouds, and when you are covered Nyx (Night) will appear in the daytime..” –Dionysiaca 7.280

“Eos had just shaken off the wing of carefree sleep and opened the gates of sunrise, leaving the lightbringing couch of Kephalos.” –Dionysiaca 27.1

“Farshooting Eos (Dawn) with crimson face leapt up sending forth her light.” –Dionysiaca 34.124

“The Wind [Euros the East Wind] left the rosy chamber of Eos (Dawn) his mother.” –Dionysiaca 37.70

“But when morning, the harbinger of Eos’ (Dawn’s) dewy car, scored the night with his ruddy gleams, then all awoke.” –Dionysiaca 37.86

 

The use of Nature imagery in the works of Federico Garcia Lorca

lorcaFederico Garcia Lorca

In his Ode to Walt Whitman, Lorca asks “Whose perfect voice will sing the truths of wheat?”

Throughout the poem, he is lamenting the absence of men of the calibre of the “lovely Walt Whitman”. The truths of wheat…  Federico Garcia Lorca uses symbolic, nature imagery throughout his work.

Whilst addressing sexuality in his Ode to Walt Whitman – he and Whitman were both homosexual – Lorca is here also addressing the hypocrisy of what is considered natural and unnatural.

He writes of the world of industry:

“Ninety thousand miners taking silver from the rocks
and children drawing stairs and perspectives.
But none of them could sleep,
none of them wanted to be the river,
none of them loved the huge leaves
or the shoreline’s blue tongue”

It is a theme he explored often; human sexuality, morality, and how people either deny themselves, or indulge themselves – those whom he refers to as “Sleepless enemies of the love that bestows crowns of joy.”

I recently came across a wonderful article written by Robert Lima, entitled “Toward the Dionysiac: Pagan Elements and Rites in Yerma“. Lorca wrote Yerma (barren in Spanish) about a childless woman living in rural Spain. As Lima puts it, Lorca introduces “natural factors that are in obvious opposition to the unnatural state of affairs in Yerma’s relationship with each of the three men in her life”.

It has been suggested that Yerma is the work of Lorca’s most directly associated with his assassination in the early days of the Spanish Civil War. It most openly challenges the institution of Catholicism and the strict sexual morality of Spanish society.

 “The four elements begin to appear in the very first scene of Yerma, either singly or in combinations, and continue to be a major frame of reference in the rest of the play. Through the elements, Lorca is able to create a symbolic pattern that is both ironic (in that it is Yerma who most frequently and intuitively refers to the pagan elements yet cannot assimilate them, and portentuous (in that they build towards the full manifestation of the Dionysiac in the final scene of the play)” – Robert Lima from Toward the Dionysiac: Pagan Elements and Rites in Yerma

(Link to full text below)

https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/jdtc/article/viewFile/1742/1706..

“Not for a moment, Walt Whitman, lovely old man,
have I failed to see your beard full of butterflies,
nor your corduroy shoulders frayed by the moon,
nor your thighs pure as Apollo’s,
nor your voice like a column of ash,
old man, beautiful as the mist”

from Ode to Walt Whitman, F.G. Lorca

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/ode-to-walt-whitman/

WWWalt Whitman