Sun Prose and Poetry

Japanese Sun Goddess: Amaterasu

Just as the oral traditions of the world's cultures have passed down stories of the sun's significance from one generation to the next, we also see it in many forms of written prose and poetry across most cultures.

Following is the account of the creation of the Sun from the Bible, Genesis chapter 1 in the King James 1611 version of the Bible.

  • In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
  • And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
  • And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
  • And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
  • And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
  • And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
  • And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years;
  • And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
  • And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
  • And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

Much of the "poetry" written in centuries past were actually hymns or incantations.

Some examples of these include:

  • The Great Hymn to Shamash which is a hymn that has come to us in cuneiform, and us an example of Mesopotamian religious writing
  • Light - (A 12th century Christian hymn) By: Nerses Shnorhali
  • Little Sun - (A song sung by the people of Finistere in France)
  • Amaterasu - (A description of the Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu) By: Motori Noronaga (the scholar)
  • Sun Hymn - From "The Egyptian Book of the Dead"

To highlight the importance of the Sun in our own language think about how many words include the word "sun" within them. There are lots and lots including Sunday, sunbird, sundial, sunset, sunrise and sunflower. How many can you find?

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