Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
This poem is the prelude to my retelling of the King Arthur story, “Tales of Taliessin.” Taliessin was the king’s poet. If this prelude whets your appetite, you can read the whole cycle of poems in Stars through the Clouds: The Collected Poetry of Donald T. Williams (Lantern Hollow Press, 2019).
TALIESSIN AT GLASTONBURY
“The starveling hermit praying in this cell
Was once the mighty knight Sir Lancelot.
Pass quietly, but look upon him well.
The path from many-towered Camelot
Has many twists and turns, but to this spot
It leads. Might you have leisure for the tale?
Well, rest we then beneath yon spreading oak.”
He sat and twitched aside his hooded cloak,
Resting a small harp upon his knee.
“I was King Arthur’s minstrel,” then he said,
“My job: to keep the Great Hall filled with glee.
And all those golden days, so quickly fled,
Passed in all their sorrow and their glory
Before my hungry ears and watching eyes.
And so, if otherwise
You’ve heard in legend or in allegory
Some version of the deeds that there were done,
Allow one who was party to the story
To speak. No greater honor e’er was won–
Or lost–in any land beneath the sun.”
He bowed his head in memory of the king,
And then began to sing.Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019)! Order from the publisher or Amazon.