The Harp of Maponos

Bum tant yn telyn
Lletrithawc naw blwydyn


I was a string in a harp
Enchanted for nine years

 Taliesin : Kat Godeu

In that enchantment I became the awen of a note quivering into music, my string resonating with the others as we were plucked. So I learnt the interactions of sound, the waves we sent rippling through the air and I became one with the awen of sound. All of us, each string, all the notes we made singly and in combination, ringing out into the world from the inspired fingers of Maponos who played on the Harp of Time.

Time – the music of the world – striking the chords that measure the days of limited lives. And alongside this : Not-Time, where the nine years passed in an instant and in that condition, while I was with the God who played the Harp, I was in Time and in Not-Time and knew both the passing of the days, the quivering of the strings, and also the fleeting moment as the silence that gives way to sound stretches unheard into Eternity as each note is played.

So there was music. So there was silence. Between the two the God sat at the harp and I was enchanted for nine years, though no time had passed, no breath had passed my lips, as the God played on and on ….

Was I enchanted? Or was I the Enchantment? I was the note and I was the silence ; between the two the God sat, plucking each string, bringing Time out of Not-Time.


6 thoughts on “The Harp of Maponos

    1. I hadn’t thought specifically about that connection. The fact that it plays when its music is desired and is silent when the listener no longer wants to hear it is certainly suggestive. Though a deeper sense of the silence behind the sounds was coming through for me here. As well the Culhwch reference the Dafydd ap Edmwnd poem suggesting that the harp is silenced by the death of a great poet (Sion Eos) is also resonant.

  1. Your title made me think of a book I read now and again. It’s a children’s book by Nancy Bond titled A Sting in the Harp. This post is a rich read for it being brief.

  2. Very beautiful. Thank you. How do you feel about a reblog of that?

    And what do you make of the nine years? Does this connect it with the Goddess, via the nine priestesses, nine muses, nine witches, do you think?

    1. You are welcome to re-blog if you want to 🙂

      Nine (or 3×3)does seem to be a significant number and it is tempting to connect the nine years here with the nine maidens. It’s a number that works for me imaginatively, and clearly for others too, so has its validity in terms of the power of the responses it evokes.

What do you think?