Archive for September 2008

On Reading P. L. Travers

September 8, 2008

P. L. Travers was an Australian author who wrote the popular Mary Poppins. In her role as senior editor of Parabola magazine she wrote occasional essays on myth and the wisdom tradition. She died in 1996.

As P.L.Travers believed, truth can be conveyed by myth. Before the invention of writing, sacred matter, that is, Truth, was conveyed by means of poetry sung or chanted by bards or priests. It was sometimes preserved for future use by pictures (hieroglyphs) or signs by being carved in stone or clay tablets. This material can be designated as myth, since priestly chanting was regarded as derived from spiritual sources, and bardic chanting was regarded as derived from bardic ancestors who had supposedly witnessed or heard of these events from witnesses. (more…)