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A Sonnet from the Glass Kitchen


 

"my poetry, from the cauldron it was uttered”—Taliesin, “Preiddeu Annwfn” (“The Spoils of Annwfn”), Wales, sixth century CE

 

 

Taliesin may be a remembered dream,

fishing his poems from a hot tureen,

supported by no planking, joist, or beam,

his transcendental cooktop can’t be seen;

but upright apes’ geese are cooked too,

even Napoleon, smart-ass pundits say,

n’a jamais existé, and poor I and you

are feeble fictions who’ll melt away

 

leaving no tidbits on the tray unless, booked

in some latter-day bardic sort of way,

our happenstance mythology is well cooked

up and in the end somehow turns out OK.

Poets fritter away in forts of frosted glass.

That’s how “iconic” figures come to pass.


--Peter Dreyer


Note: Taliesin’s surviving fragment says enigmatically, “Beyond the Glass Fortress they did not see”; https://d.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/text/preiddeu-annwn

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