Upcoming Society Events

Saturday 21 October 2023 - A meeting to discuss Chapters XXXI-XXXII from JCP’s novel Porius *; led by Chris Thomas

Etching: Blodeuwedd changed into an Owl, Patricia Dawson

* Chapter XXXI (The Little One) and Chapter XXXII (Blodeuwedd) from the complete, restored edition, edited by Morine Krissdóttir, Overlook Press, 2007.

Venue: Pushkin House, 5A Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2TA, The Drawing Room, ground floor.
Time: 14.00 to 17.00. The venue will also be available from 13.00 if participants wish to arrive early.
Refreshments, tea/coffee, will be available.
The event is free. All are welcome. A contribution towards the cost of refreshments is voluntary. If you wish to participate please e-mail Hon. Secretary.

Chapters XXXI and XXXII of Porius illustrate very well JCP’s attitude to Marvels and Wonders in Porius. JCP wrote to the publisher’s reader, Norman Denny to explain his approach: Nothing wd induce me, persuade me, or make me, leave out or turn into anybody's dream, the Miracle of the Owl-Girl Blodeuwedd worked by Myrddin Wyllt at the entombing in that great field of the Prince and the Owl's flapping over the violated grave of Teleri that scared them all so!...To leave out Marvels & Wonders wd. be to make the whole thing false, to make it ring untrue & unreal. Chapter XXXI in which Porius encounters a magical child, in the Druid’s cave was originally cut from the first edition of the novel. The editors of the Overlook edition of Porius have here restored one of the marvels and wonders of the book. Here we can appreciate JCP’s knowledge of esoteric mythology and hermetic symbolism as well as his dazzling display of language and imagery. Morine Krissdóttir believes that Chapter XXXI is one of the most marvellous chapters [JCP] ever wrote and refers to his writing at this point as breathtaking and awe inspiring. The theme of magical change, metamorphosis and transformation is played out in Chapter XXXII with the description of the owl which is recreated and reborn in the form of the girl Blodeuwedd who appears from under the cloak of Myrddin Wyllt: the creature was beyond all words beautiful. Her form hadn’t only taken into itself the spring time blossoming of its first engendering it had taken into itself all the moss deep unfoldings and unsheathings of the loneliest places…all the tangled growths that hide the secret processes of new life between the dark retreats of marsh waters and the still darker retreats of ancient forests.


Chris Thomas, Hon Secretary

Tuesday 14 November 2023 — Follow on Zoom Discussion of JCP’s Porius by the Reading Powyses Facebook Group

At 19:00 GMT
All those wishing to participate in the ZOOM discussion please e-mail Dawn Collins at thepowyssocietyfb@btinternet.com.
ZOOM connection details will be emailed to individuals well before the meeting

Dawn Collins's well-bookmarked copy
Dawn Collins’ well-bookmarked copy

As previously, all are welcome either as contributors or as spectators

As a follow-on to our last FaceBook discussion on 27 March we return to Porius for a final session. Dawn invites suggestions for fresh topics or chapters for special focus. (e-mail Dawn Collins at thepowyssocietyfb@btinternet.com).

Dawn writes:

We will take a more structured format with preprepared topics to discuss. I will post the subjects to be discussed in good time before Tuesday 14th.

All are invited to our reread of Porius the final major novel of John Cowper Powys. He considered it to be “the chief work of my lifetime.” We will be reading the complete and edited version published by Overlook Duckworth in 2007, as published in eBook by the Powys Society.