The transforming self and otherworldly wisdom
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Certain tales of the medieval Norse, Anglo-Saxons, Irish and Welsh explain the source of poetic inspiration as existing in a world apart, whether that be in the realm of the gods, in the Celtic Otherworld, or with the Christian God. Generally, each culture follows a similar pattern in explaining the process of inspiration, beginning with a binding or a containment in the physical world, followed by danger-tinged contemplation, and eventually leading to communication with the source of poetry. The tales of these four cultures are discussed in terms of this schemata and compared with one another, eventually leading towards an understanding of wisdom that poetic composition may bring to a poet.
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