With red-sided blades

concealing the ground,

the reddened manslayer in fury;

the Laureate hero would slay men.

The warrior in his station, the wolf of the company,

used to be joyful.

The herb garden of the host,

a laureate hero striking;

before his blinding (in death), he was not weak.

Most truly are you called for your righteous acts-

the governor, helmsman, rampart of the tribeland’s every-boundary,

Tudfwlch violent in slaughter, a fortified citadel.


J.T. Koch, The Gododdin Of Aneirin Text and Context from Dark-Age North Britain




The Amondawa Have No Word For Time

Amondawa are an amazonian tribe that lack the linguistic structures that relate time and space.

Language log had an interesting take on this and ran with the title ” Wade Davis has no word for “dubious linguistic claim.”

Terse and to the point.

The claim

It is widely assumed that there is a natural, prelinguistic conceptual domain of time whose linguistic organization is universally structured via metaphoric mapping from the lexicon and grammar of space and motion.

The hypothesis

the cognitive and linguistic domain of ‘Time as Such’ is not a cognitive universal, but a historical construction based in social practice, semiotically mediated by symbolic and cultural-cognitive artefacts for time based time interval reckoning, and subsequently entrenched in lexico-grammar.


I found Pierre Pica’s observation interesting as it’s something to think about outside of this context.

Dr Pica said the study “shows very interesting data” but argues quite simply that failing to show the space/time mapping does not refute the “mapping hypothesis”.

Small societies like the Amondawa tend to use absolute terms for normal, spatial relations – for example, referring to a particular river location that everyone in the culture will know intimately rather than using generic words for river or riverbank.

These, Dr Pica argued, do not readily lend themselves to being co-opted in the description of time.

“When you have an absolute vocabulary – ‘at the water’, ‘upstream’, ‘downstream’ and so on, you just cannot use it for other domains, you cannot use the mapping hypothesis in this way,” he said.

I think about the terse absolute vocabulary of some of the historical documents I have to look at, and can now include intimacy and social scale as a factor to think about alongside living memory.


Jason Palmer, Amondawa Tribe Lacks Abstract Idea of Time, Study Says, B.B.C. News

Mark Liberman, Wade Davies Has No Word For “Dubious Linguistic Claim”, Language Log

Amondawa has no word for ‘time’, Sentence First




Self Present (Far From The Madding Crowd)

He is generous & calm (like the flowing of the sea)

He blushes ( in the company of a girl)

His sword sings in the heads of mothers (when he strikes the foe)

General Principles

Self- presentation is behavior that attempts to convey some information about oneself or some image of oneself to other people. It denotes a class of motivations in human behavior. These motivations are in part stable dispositions of individuals but they depend on situational factors to elicit them. Specifically, self-presentational motivations are activated by the evaluative presence of other people and by others’ knowledge of one’s behavior.

Two types of self-presentational motivations can be distinguished. One (pleasing the audience) is to match one’s self-presentation to the audience’s expectations and preferences. The other (self-construction) is to match one’s self presentation to one’s own ideal self.

The expression of the audience pleasing motive varies across situations, especially since different audiences have different preferences…………..


R.F. Baumeister, D.G. Hutton, Self-Presentation Theory: Self- Construction and Audience Pleasing



A Small Eternity of Unsatisfied Desire

The Reciters Prologue

Gododdin man, I desire to entertain you-

here in the warbands presence, exuberantly in the court-

with the transmitted poetry from Dwywai’s son, a man of high valour.

Let it be made known; and thereby, it will prevail!

Since the refined one, the bull of battle, was slain,

since earth was pushed over Aneirin,

song and the Gododdin tribe are now separated.






I watched a little part of Sky Atlantic’s Britannia.

I thought it was a car-crash with a potentially bad casting director. Seemed to be a lot of perfectly good actors, acting really uncomfortably.

I did see one ray of light when I thought I caught sight of what looked like the influence of Victorian visual art on the opening scene.

Caught the sense it may be playing with a sense of time.

I switched of, it was a mess, but give it a second chance, see if it goes somewhere.

I read in review that the writer “Jim Thompson once said about the art of telling tales, ‘there is really only one story, and that is nothing is what it seems.”

I like that idea, I am dealing with a poem that locates the present in a past that never was and has no future.

Ever-present sense of time.

Mythical timescale.














Disruption (The One Thing I Don’t Know)

Some disruption in my domestic set up for the next couple of months. I could see the effect yesterday.

Still I managed to get something out of it.

Terse, notes won’t make much sense.

I should be introducing the timeline of the poem. Its not composed by a single voice it develops over centuries. I should also be introducing the narrative, ‘the battle.’

But I will avoid the temptation. I have no idea what is going on in parts of the verse, which is rather interesting (for me), just not very comprehensible (for others).

I found myself wondering what a conclusion or introduction would look like. At the moment I am mostly interested in time and memory.

I have little idea how philosophers think but I suspect arguments surrounding one in many could be rehearsed and played out in this.

I think of the idea that this poem is devoid of ideas and strictly heroic.

I find that thought amusing, as it leaves me with the sense that having an idea of the verse is an accident waiting to happen.

Conclusion/ introduction an absence waiting to be filled. An accident waiting to occur.

If I run with that pattern, it leads to a terse conclusion I can make no sense of. It seems to fit, it contains no idea so its not yet a conclusion.

The forgetting of it.

Its the dead men tell no tales, yet here it is, aspect of the verse. I can’t make sense of it other than to note it seems to display some interest in time and memory.

It seems to have some idea of what it is doing.

I don’t, I have not been engaged in sustained writing and thought here over centuries. Things have yet to alter.