Cadair Idris

The Rock of Cader Idris
by Felicia Hemans

It is an old tradition of the Welsh bards, that on the summit of the mountain Cader Idris is an excavation resembling a couch; and that whoever should pass a night in that hollow, would be found in the morning either dead, in a state of frenzy, or endowed with the highest poetical inspiration.

I lay on that rock where the storms have their dwelling,
The birthplace of phantoms, the home of the cloud;
Around it for ever deep music is swelling,
The voice of the mountain-wind, solemn and loud.
‘Twas a midnight of shadows all fitfully streaming,
Of wild waves and breezes, that mingled their moan;
Of dim shrouded stars, as from gulfs faintly gleaming;
And I met the dread gloom of its grandeur alone.

I lay there in silence — a spirit came o’er me;
Man’s tongue hath no language to speak what I saw:
Things glorious, unearthly, pass’d floating before me,
And my heart almost fainted with rapture and awe.
I view’d the dread beings around us that hover,
Though veil’d by the mists of mortality’s breath;
And I call’d upon darkness the vision to cover,
For a strife was within me of madness and death.

I saw them — the powers of the wind and the ocean,
The rush of whose pinion bears onward the storms;
Like the sweep of the white-rolling wave was their motion,
I felt their dim presence, — but knew not their forms!
I saw them — the mighty of ages departed —
The dead were around me that night on the hill:
From their eyes, as they pass’d, a cold radiance they darted, —
There was light on my soul, but my heart’s blood was chill.

I saw what man looks on, and dies — but my spirit
Was strong, and triumphantly lived through that hour;
And, as from the grave, I awoke to inherit
A flame all immortal, a voice, and a power!
Day burst on that rock with the purple cloud crested,
And high Cader Idris rejoiced in the sun; —
But O! what new glory all nature invested,
When the sense which gives soul to her beauty was won!
Cadair Idris by Richard Wilson – lived next door to a descendant of his

Lovers

by Edvard Munch
See how in their veins all becomes spirit:
into each other they mature and grow.
Like axles, their forms tremblingly orbit,
round which it whirls, bewitching and aglow.
Thirsters, and they receive drink,
watchers, and see: they receive sight.
Let them into one another sink
so as to endure each other outright.

(Rilke 'The Lovers')

My intention is …

My intention is to tell of bodies changed To different forms; the gods, (sorry Ovid, but I must add 'goddesses') who made the changes, Will help me—or I hope so—with a poem That runs from the world's beginning to our own days.
Goddesses, please keep breathing your breath into my story of changes! The epic tale of The Fugitive Stag ... 

Goya in therapy – The Mysterious Pinturas Negras

The series of fourteen murals was painted in the last years of Goya’s life. Aged 72, he moved outside of Madrid to a house once inhabited by a deaf man. Hence the name, but it was well-fitting also for Goya who was nearly deaf after a fever he had suffered 26 years earlier. The murals were executed with oils directly onto the walls of the dining and sitting rooms, intended only for private use as there is no documentation that they were commissioned. The old painter most probably never intended for them to be public, as he imbued them with his greatest fears, delusions and indignations.
All the monsters from his soul found their reflections in the dark colours and eerie themes, as if the painting of ‘pinturas negras’ (black paintings) was a sort of an auto-therapy  - writes Magda Michalska. 

What could have pushed Goya to execute these grim murals? A combination of ever-deteriorating health and first-hand experiences of warstate terror, violence and of course the conflict with the Inquisition. The amounts of fear, panic and suffering that Goya experienced exceeded the limits of the bearable. The only way to let his suffering out was to paint the bizarre worlds able to contain these quantities of pain.
Two Old Men
The lack of balance recurring in all the compositions confirms Goya’s innovative and very progressive style, heralding the 20th century’s Expressionism. The figures appear off-center, suspended, weirdly cut-off  ...

Wars of Love

"Our wars are wars of life, & wounds of love, With intellectual spears, & long winged arrows of thought:        Mutual in one anothers love and wrath all renewing We live as One Man;" - Blake  in Jerusalem, Plate 33, (E 180) "..
"And the Bow is a Male & Female & the Quiver of the Arrows of Love, Are the Children of this Bow: a Bow of Mercy & Loving-kindness: laying Open the hidden Heart in Wars of mutual Benevolence Wars of Love And the Hand of Man grasps firm between the Male & Female Loves -  Jerusalem, Plate 97, (E 256)