Ozymandias - by Percy Bysshe Shelley I met a traveller from an antique land, Who said — “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; And on the pedestal, these words appear: My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
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The Celtic story of Blodeuwedd has fascinated me since childhood. If you are not familiar with the mythology, Blodeuwedd was created from the flowers of broom, meadowsweet and oak as a wife for Llew, the son of Arianrhod.
To briefly summarize, Llew brought shame upon his mother, resulting in her curse upon him: he could not marry a mortal woman and therefore could not become king. His cousins, Math and Gwydion, created Blodeuwedd for the sole purpose of fulfilling Llew’s destiny. After their marriage, Blodeuwedd took a lover named Gronw and the two plotted the demise of Llew. Tragically, she causes the death, or near death, of both her husband and lover. Llew is wounded, turns into an eagle and flies away, but is found and nurtured back to health by Math and Gwydion. Gronw was not as fortunate, and upon his death Blodeuwedd is turned into an owl (Blodeuwedd means both “flower face” and owl). One might find it strange for a child to bond with such a story, but I was a strange child indeed!
When I started playing video games in my twenties I fell in love with the name Blodeuyn, which means flower and is syntactically related to Blodeuwedd. It felt natural to start using the name as my gaming alias and over the years Blodeuyn has become so familiar to me that it is now part of my identity. The association is so intertwined with my soul that my friends call me Blode more often than Joce or Jocelyn (my birth name).
Blodeuwedd’s story is much more detailed than what I have covered in this post. You can read the entire myth at druidry.org: The legend of Blodeuwedd.
deu pronounced as “day” in English