Alphabet Plate - Beth Luis Nion
Medium: Turned white oak spalted burl and paint
Dimensions: 4 5/8 × 27 1/4 × 27 in. (11.7 × 69.2 × 68.6 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Russel Jones, 1989
About: "The points of the surrogate trees,
What is it they whisper so forcibly;
What various breathings
Are in their trunks
These are read by the Sages
Who were versed in Science,
Or who delivered Books."
from "The First Greeting of Taliesin," Welsh poetry fragment attributed to Taliesin, c. 6th century A.D.
The earliest forms of writing were often transcribed on wooden tablet or staves. While for obvious reasons few examples survive, vestiges of this can be seen in language still. The word "book" for example, can be traced to the Dutch word "boek" or beech tree. Likewise the Irish 'feadha' may be translated either as trees or letters, giving also the derivation 'feadham' to relate.
Permalink to this object: