“Taliessin in the Rose-Garden”: A symbolic analysis

— Joseph Thompson

18 October 2021 | Mythlore, Volume 40, № 1, 163

In this analysis of a poem from Charles Williams’s Taliessin cycle, Taliessin in the Rose-Garden,” I sought to demonstrate that our reading of the poem could be helped with the use of certain traditional categories of symbolism. In particular I focussed on how Williams adapts the classical model of hylomorphism to offer his own take on the relationship between spirit and matter. That he was able to accomplish this through the medium of poetry is a considerable testament to his skill and the scope of his vision. I also tried to show where hermetic ideas encroach upon his Christian storytelling, potentially posing problems for an orthodox reading of his poetic cycle as a whole.

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