This Poem is the magical chant sung by the Wizard Garufel in chapter ten of my novel, The Letterseeker. The scene is the creation of a boat by the River Mim, to be used by Stoneglow Threescar in his quest. The chant is an example of the way a particular archetypal form manifests in a variety of “contents.” In this case, we might consider it the archetype of tool use, which in turn is an archetype of intelligence enlisted in the solving of problems.
Reed-length was the measure That marked out the holding. Reed-strength braced the walls, lime-coated. Calx and Calamus joined in the building, Firm reed-fascines fended the missiles. The Slay was of reed that divided the warp, Beat the web up to the weft, Pressed down the woof, struck the fibre, Created the cloth! Reed was the pen that graved the accounts, Recorded the songs, wrote of the deeds. Reed-pipes livened the dance; heart-winding, breath-gracing. Painful the cane rod beating the felon, And the darts of canna, death-dealing! Reed in Royal Hand: Glorious Sceptre! Root peasant-boiled: such food kept them! Vessel cane-twisted, worthy basket, sustaining: Grass-wrapped were the bundles that cradled the Godling! CALAMAGROSTIS EPIGEOUS! Thick is the thatch, never failing!