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.”


It was not to be countenanced that my growing love affair with that Renaissance form the Sonnet should compromise my devotion to Alliterative Meter and all things medieval.  Now, Merlin is properly Celtic, not Saxon.  But why waste an opportunity to contribute to that delightfully irresistible web of anachronisms we call the Matter of Britain on that account?  So let us think of this as Merlin emerging from Celtic twilight into the light of Anglo-Saxon Alliterative day:


The man who here sits    and moves not, nor speaks,

But watches in wakeful,    wide-eyed silence,

A shadowy figure    may chance to meet,

That slowly, slowly,    slow approaches,

Taking form as it comes:

Falling hair,    like a flood of water,

On rocks of shoulders    splashes silver;

Eyes like coals    that ever smoulder

With eerie fire    flash from the shadows,

Glowing more bright as they come.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to and order Stars Through the Clouds!

Donald T. Williams, PhD


About gandalf30598

Theologian, philosopher, poet, and critic; minister of the Gospel who makes his living by teaching medieval and renaissance literature; dual citizen of Narnia and Middle Earth.

Posted on June 27, 2011, in Donald Williams, King Arthur, Poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Well, that’s appropriate for anything Arthurian. Celtic meets Anglo-Saxon and becomes epic. The fun part is figuring out what culture is responsible for what.

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