Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Secret of Kells

Make sure you have your volume on (i never to begin with!) and take a look at The Secret of Kells a mythical cartoon/film inspired by the Book of Kells. The illustration & music is gorgeous.
 (note to pixie sue; on some of the pages there is a very pale silver scroll bar, that you might not see, in the centre of the page, to scroll for more text) 

all images from the Book of Kells

One of the characters in Secret of Kells is Pangur Bn...
Here are a couple of snippets from Thomas Cahill's "How The Irish Saved Civilisation:

This 4stanza Irish poem was slipped into a 9th century manuscript containing material such as latin commentary on Virgil & a list of Greek paradigms:

I and Pangur Ban my cat,
'Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

'Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

'Gainst the wall he sets his eye,
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
'Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

So in peace our task we ply,
Pangur Ban my cat and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Another verse slipped in the margin of a manuscript by an Irish monk in the time of Viking raids in the early 9th century (from the Fury of The Norsemen by John Marsden)

Bitter is the wind this night
Which tosses the white locks of the ocean
I fear not the coursing of a clear sea
By the fierce warriors of the lochlann

 another version is
Bitter is the wind this night
Which tosses up the ocean's hair so white
Merciless men I need not fear
Who cross from Lothland on an ocean clear.

Lothland is Norway, and Vikings could not land in a storm.

I wonder how one of my clients would feel if I just slipped a random poem into a commission now & again!? 

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