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What Makes a Bard?

By Nimue Brown

How is a bard different from any other creative person? For me, it has always been about a spiritual dedication which is intrinsic to the work. A regular creative person may have all kinds of reasons for doing what they do. For a bard, creativity will, to a significant degree, be an act of spiritual dedication and expression. The creative work is not simply about making money, achieving fame or getting to ponce about in public whilst wearing a nice dress, either. Part of the point of the work is to serve the community, and part of the point is to serve the land.

So, how do we serve? By bringing magic into the world. Inspiring and uplifting people. Expressing the numinous. Offering insight into what it means to be human. Expressing our relationship with the land. Sharing history of place and tribe to ground people. Keeping traditional forms of creativity alive, holding threads that connect past to future. Giving voice to that which cannot speak and yet needs to be heard. Making sense of human experiences. Celebrating, remembering, imagining, exploring, honouring, satirising, offering alternatives, creating perspectives….

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