Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Carpe Diem #820 Lyra (Lyre/Harp)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our "space odyssey" in which we are making a journey through the stars and are discovering the beauty and mystery of the 88 known constellations. Today our constellation to visit is Lyra (Lyre/Harp). As I was preparing this episode I realized that I am far behind with commenting on all of your wonderful responses. I apologize for that and I hope to catch up a.s.a.p.
And another thing came in mind as I was preparing this episode. Some way or the other I couldn't get lost of the idea that Lyra had something to do with Nero, emperor of Rome, who burned his capital and watched it burn down while playing his Lyre, as is the story or legend of course. So I really was anxious to find out more about this not so well known constellation.

while playing the lyre
the ancient city of the gods
burned to ashes

© Chèvrefeuille

Credits: Lyra (at the right)

So let us take a closer look at Lyra. Beginning at the north, Lyra is bordered by Draco, Hercules, Vulpecula, and Cygnus. Lyra is visible from the northern hemisphere from spring through autumn, and nearly overhead, in temperate latitudes, during the summer months. From the southern hemisphere, it is visible low in the northern sky during the winter months.

And instead of the idea I proposed above it's more based on Greek Mythology. Here is the story:

In Greek mythology, Lyra represents the lyre of Orpheus. Made by Hermes from a tortoise shell, it was said to be the first lyre ever produced. Orpheus's music was said to be so great that even inanimate objects such as trees, streams, and rocks could be charmed. Joining Jason and the Argonauts, his music was able to quell the voices of the dangerous Sirens, who sang tempting songs to the Argonauts.
At one point, Orpheus married Eurydice, a nymph. While fleeing from an attack by Aristaeus, she stepped on a snake that bit her, killing her. To reclaim her, Orpheus entered the Underworld, where the music from his lyre charmed Hades. Hades relented and let Orpheus bring Eurydice back, on the condition that he never once look back until outside. Unfortunately, near the very end, Orpheus faltered and looked back, causing Eurydice to be left in the Underworld forever. Orpheus spent the rest of his life strumming his lyre while wandering aimlessly through the land, rejecting all marriage offers from women.

Credits: Orpheus playing the lyre

Vega and its surrounding stars are also treated as a constellation in other cultures. The area corresponding to Lyra was seen by the Arabs as a vulture or an eagle carrying a lyre, either enclosed in its wings, or in its beak. In Wales, Lyra is known as King Arthur's Harp (Talyn Arthur), and King David's harp. The Persian Hafiz called it the Lyre of Zurah. It has been called the Manger of the Infant Saviour, Praesepe Salvatoris. In Australian Aboriginal astronomy, Lyra is known by the Boorong people in Victoria as the Malleefowl constellation.

mist covers the highlands
the sound of King Arthur's Harp
mystifying the stars

© Chèvrefeuille

What a wonderful story and what a joy to read and re-read these stories. I was stunned by the staories behind this constellation. A constellation I had never heard of. It inspired me, as you have read in the above published haiku.

I hope Lyra inspires you also. This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 19th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, a new CD Special, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share the beauty brought to you by your muses ...

1 comment:

  1. So much enthusiasm, and information! Your first haiku makes tackling a difficult theme so easy,almost nonchalant. Superb second, too