Posts Tagged ‘“When Cu Chulainn Courts Emer”’

Two Sonnets: “When Cu Chulainn Courts Emer” and “Immortal Marriage”

June 2, 2013
Cu Chulainn, from Celtic Mythology

Cu Chulainn, from Celtic Mythology

Cu Chulainn, from Celtic Mythology

A few years ago I was writing a novel called “Devil’s Revenge”. (There are three chapters from this book under this entry for those curious…) And… a passage towards the end of this too-cumbersome book where the characters descend into Celtic times and mythology. From that research I came across Cu Chulainn and other characters in this fascinating mythology. I knew a little before beginning this research but it wasn’t enough to fill a thimble. The mythology of Cu Chulainn and in fact that whole period gave rise to a lot of attempts at some form of poetry. It seemed then that the sonnet form, something I had never written before, seemed to be the ‘proper’ form to embrace this mythology. One thing I realized: I really hate sonnet form. It’s damn hard.

Note: Part of the accepted mythology is that Lug dragged his cock (which stood in for a huge club…)across the earth and made the mountains and valleys. It’s not just me being nasty….it’s in the myth. These sexual-psychological issues were important in the mythologizing. Being King, God of Light, he had to have something outrageous going for him…

Also, Cu Chulainn was known as the Hound of Ulster (another story there…)

Lady Nyo

WHEN CU CHULAINN COURTS EMER

“In that sweet country, I’ll rest my weapon”

Said Cu Chulainn to beauteous Emer

And a war spasm came upon him fast

With face distorting, hair stood upended

Teeth barred in anger, cock a rigid mast

His body whipped around, his knees unbended,

And sweet Emer prayed his luck would last.

Her father, King Lug, Celtic God of Light

Set her swain to tasks and toil unending,

While Bricru the Poison Tongue cries in fright:

“The Hound of Ulster, Irish unbending,

Leads in battle for comes he in his might!

And Emer waits with patient love the day

When Cu Chulainn comes near and claims his right!

IMMORTAL MARRIAGE

When Lug dragged his cock upon the earth deep

And threw up mountains and hillocks in haste

Fair Aine came behind him with sweet seeds reap’d

And fertile was the land, no virgins chaste

Followed the reapers and saw the crows fly

Up in the air with black wings flapping sound

She watered the plantings with moisture, sighed

For Lug had others of mistresses round

Fair Aine pined in sorrow, her heart laid bare

All other women Lug held with his charm

When she walked afield, the men did dare

To raise their eyes and hearts without alarm.

The children she bore now, peppered the earth,

And Lug still dragged his cock, taunting with mirth!

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009-2013


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