Sunday, 16 February 2014

Castalie - Well Inspiring

Poets drinking from the Castalian Spring
Painting by Heinrich Füger (1751-1818)


Noun. Archaic or poetical. Also Castaly. Early 17th century.
[Alteration of Latin Castalia from Greek Kastalia, the fountain sacred to the Muses on Mount Parnassus.]

A spring of pure water; a source of inspiration.

Apollo, already in my bad books for the beastly way he treated Cassandra, shows himself to be a proper oik again in the story of Castalia, a nymph who, like Cassandra, had the misfortune of catching Apollo's ever-randy eye. In a rather rash bid to escape his amorous attentions, Castalie threw herself into a well and Apollo, who really must learn to handle rejection better, responded by magically turning Castalie into a fountain (rather than, say, helping her out of the well, apologising profusely for the mixup, and resolving to be less pushy in the future). Drinking from these Castalian waters, however, was said to inspire the genius of poetry, and thus Castalie in English has come to mean the source of one's inspiration. Still, Apollo ... what a plonker.

Do you have a Castalie?

Do inspire us by leaving an amusing comment in the box below.


  1. I always remember Ginger Baker (of Cream fame) saying that he used to think he could only play well if he was stoned out of his mind. And then, later, he gave up drugs and just got incredibly drunk, instead. 'And now,' he said. 'I just have a cup of tea.'

    1. I don't know if a cup of tea is my Castalie, but *not* having a cup of tea while I'm writing is a definite and noted impediment.

  2. I thought Apollo had to be an honorable, upstanding, exemplary sort of a bloke, mainly because the Space Program is named after him.

    Are you saying, reading between the lines, that NASA is attempting to take lecherous misogyny to all the other planets?

    Was the Kennedy Space Center actually named after Ted?!

    I flipping KNEW it.


    1. I thought it was because Apollo was the god of colonisation and colonists generally, but I might be wrong - after all, the Apollo Program didn't ever intend to colonise anywhere did it? Hmm.

      And, look, I don't want to influence anyone on this - I suppose he's usually held in high regard, supposed to be all cultured and stuff, but every time I come across Apollo he's behaving like a lecherous, petulant brat.

      PS - I want it on record that if I'm smited any time soon ... well ... there's clear motive *and* previous form from you-know-you ...

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