There is not an artistic bone in my body. I just about scraped a grade C in GCSE art and I counted it as one of the greatest achievements out of all of my grades (and the rest were all A’s). When I sing it sounds like a dying cat being beaten with a Violin (Haha, ok I’m not that bad. I’m actually pretty average), and my poetry (and indeed, my general command of the english language) is laughable.
However, I have still written several hymns, and plan to write more. I still set some of them to music and sing them.
These are offerings to my gods, and whilst they do not measure up to the hymns that many modern Hellenists write so beautifully, nor do they measure up to many ancient hymns (some of which are stunning); they are important to me. I could print a Homeric hymn off the internet, and read that in ritual. In fact, I do for many of the gods and have no problems; but my own hymns are more personal. The fact I have struggled and put thought into every word makes the final offering that little bit more special, the fact I put the hymn to music (despite not being able to sing) adds a whole new dimension to the ritual and the hymn on an aesthetic level.
I don’t think the gods mind that my hymns aren’t going to win awards at Bardic contests any time soon, if that is not what I am capable of. Isaac Bonewitz called it the ‘wilted daisies effect’ in an interview once. A little girl could bring her mother a bunch of wilted Daisies out of the garden and the mother would be delighted, because that was all the little girl could do. If that girl was 30, and did the same; it wouldn’t go down too well.
My hymns might be the ‘wilted daisies’, but I think that they can see that I have put maximum effort into writing them.
This week, I will write a hymn to Athene as thanks for her help over time. I will sing it too! Currently I use a Homeric hymn to Athene, and this focuses on her role as a war-goddess and the protector of cities. I honor Athene more in her capacity as the goddess of wisdom, and my hymn will reflect that. I hope she delights in my awful singing and my questionable rhyme, and if she doesn’t; I guess I’ll just try harder.