Taliesin was one of the five worthy poets according to the Historia Brittonum; as of the time of Culhwch and Olwen, he was supposed to have been of the court of King Arthur. As such he is a righteous companion of ours.

This Memorial Day weekend a young man bearing his name (and the Welsh form of Merlin's, as a middle name) walked into a knife for a good reason. A Bernie Sanders supporter who turned towards Jill Stein killed him, and another man, after he stood up to protect others that the knifeman was harassing.

His mother gave him a good name, indeed a pair of them. He did his best to live up to those names, which does him honor. But Arthur's court, and Arthur's peace, was won with good swords. The good names followed the work of those swords.

Too often that is forgotten, and this weekend of all weekends it ought not to be forgotten. It is wise to give a name that remembers, but it only counts if you also teach their hands the skill that can effect anew what is remembered.
And though skies alter and empires melt,
This word shall still be true:
If we would have the horse of old,
Scour ye the horse anew.


Tom said...

Poemhunter.com has a short biography of the historical figure and seven of his poems translated into modern English.

One of them is Elegy for Geraint, about the death of a brave man.

Grim said...

Yes, Geraint is no stranger to the Hall.

Tom said...

Yeah, I chose it for that reason. We need more warrior-poets and poet-warriors, I think.