If – as is attested – Mabon Son of Modron is Maponos Son of Matrona, the divine Son of the divine Mother, and if also – as is attested – he is the spirit of Poetic Inspiration such as is embodied in the inspired [literally*] possession of the Awenyddion as mentioned by Gerald of Wales, and therefore he is the inspired source of their prophecies, and if, cognate with this, The Spirit of Poetry mentioned in Cormac’s Glossary as inspiring the young lad who engages in a rhyming competition with the female poet and may be linked – as is attested – to Aeongus Óg, and if this same inspired possession is the source of Henry Vaughan's account of the poetic spirit actually entering the young shepherd in the form of a hawk carried by a “a beautifull young man with a garland of green leafs upon his head, & an hawk upon his fist: with a quiver full of arrows att his back”
Then is there a link between the God of Youth and the Spirit of Poetry which survives in the fragments of story making their own way through the world as episodes in a medieval tale, accounts of poetic & prophetic inspiration and illustrative glosses on words in an exegetical grammar?
But if (as argued by Robert Graves) the source of that inspiration is a goddess rather than a god, whether as Muse or, in the native tradition, the Queen of Faëry as embodied in ballads such as those about Thomas of Ercildoune or Thomas the Rhymer Who also features in native faërie lore, or in poems such as La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats which are also making their own independent ways through the world,
Then should we, as Graves suggests, perceive a transfer of power from feminine to masculine deities as the source of inspiration as evinced by Apollo’s inspiration of the priestess at Delphi?
And if so, does the release of Mabon (who was snatched from his mother when three days old) from a dungeon below Caer Loyw in Culhwch and Olwen signify a release of that prophetic and youthful power into the world by the warrior Arthur and how are we to compare this to the adoption of prophetic power by Taliesin from a brew prepared by Ceridwen whose own cauldron of Inspiration – like that retrieved from the Otherworld by Arthur – became a source of male rather than female power?
Or should gender not be an issue here?
- ‘Inspiration’ – from ‘inspirare’, to breathe in.