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Folklore: the linden tree

keberoxu 10 Feb 19 - 07:16 PM
Jack Campin 10 Feb 19 - 08:10 PM
leeneia 10 Feb 19 - 09:44 PM
keberoxu 11 Feb 19 - 12:13 PM
leeneia 11 Feb 19 - 12:21 PM
leeneia 11 Feb 19 - 12:29 PM
keberoxu 11 Feb 19 - 01:01 PM
leeneia 11 Feb 19 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 11 Feb 19 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,henryp 12 Feb 19 - 12:09 AM
Joe Offer 12 Feb 19 - 02:00 AM
leeneia 12 Feb 19 - 12:06 PM
Iains 12 Feb 19 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 12 Feb 19 - 01:08 PM
Gordon Jackson 12 Feb 19 - 01:22 PM
Iains 12 Feb 19 - 04:47 PM
Donuel 14 Feb 19 - 05:48 AM
leeneia 14 Feb 19 - 10:23 AM
leeneia 15 Feb 19 - 12:49 PM
keberoxu 18 Feb 19 - 12:23 PM
GUEST 21 Feb 19 - 12:08 PM
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Subject: Folklore: the linden tree
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 07:16 PM

I first stumbled across the praises of the linden tree
in the lyrics of the German-language Lied.
It is, I believe, Schubert's Winterreise cycle
-- who is that poet? Mueller? someone else? --
that sets to music a poem about 'der Lindenbaum.'

That most worthy of song accompanists, Gerald Moore,
translated 'Lindenbaum' as 'lime-tree', and I thought:
Now, hold on a minute!
The lime is a citrus fruit,
and the linden tree has nothing to do with citrus fruit!

Well, that conclusion is true enough, however
it is also true that in some places
linden trees are called lime trees.
Not where I grew up, around the USA's Great Lakes, however:
a linden tree was a linden tree, and that was that.

The question has been nagging me for years:
what is the big deal about linden trees?
I have never had any wisdom or folklore imparted to me thereabout.

So off I went to the World Wide Web, and whoa Nelly!
A great section of continental Europe is positively devotional
about linden trees.

And so,
I would be delighted to hear from anyone and everyone
about what singles out the linden tree from any other,
or how the linden tree is included in any category
of the interaction between humanity and nature.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 08:10 PM

More German songs:

Walther von der Vogelweide's "Under der linden an der heide"
Mahler's "Ich atmet eien Linden duft"

Often used for wood carving, as in medićval churches.

Lots of herbalist uses.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: leeneia
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 09:44 PM

Am Brunnen vor dem Tore, da steht ein Lindenbaum.
Ich traumte in seinem Schatten die manche sussen Traum.

At the spring [or well] before the gate there stands a lindentree.
I dreamed in its shade many a sweet dream.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 12:13 PM

Thanks, leeneia!
Yes, that is the opening of "Der Lindenbaum,"
and the poet is indeed Wilhelm Müller.

And talking of poems:
the poet of origin here is
Jan Kochanowski. In order to submit his original Polish verse,
I have to learn some new html code for all those arcane characters.
A website on his poems is at this link.

Thankfully an English translation exists and is available online.
The translator, the late William Auld,
is best known for writing in Esperanto, and translating into same.
Which is why I have never read anything by him,
because Esperanto is a language I have never studied.
Anyway here is Auld's English, and isn't it a lovely thing?


THE LINDEN TREE
(Jan Kochanowski;
English by William Auld)

Traveller, come! Enter under my leaves for a rest,
Where the sun will not reach you. Come, and I promise the best:
Even with sun at the highest, shooting down on the meadows
Brilliant rays, diffuse them I shall, to the softest of shadows.
Here, right under my crown, wafts gently and coolly a breeze;
Here, the starlings and larks all abound and argue with ease;
Here, the hard-working bees extract from my sweet-smelling flower
Honey that graces the finest of tables at family hour.
And, without effort, with whispers that come from my deep,
I shall be singing all visitors sweetly to sleep.
Though in Hesperides Garden none of the apples I bear,
As the most giving of trees, my Lord has planted me there.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 12:21 PM

Yes, that is lovely, keb. Thanks for posting.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 12:29 PM

My thought on why the linden tree is popular: it has a pretty name. Suppose it were called a gretchnagelkupfer. The only songs people would be writing about it would be humorous songs.

Coleridge wrote a poem called 'This Lime Tree Bower, My Prison'. In fact, I think I'll go read it soon. At the time I encountered it in school, I hardly knew what he was saying.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 01:01 PM

I don't know how to pronounce or write the words,
but in Central Europe and Eastern Europe,
the equivalent words for the linden
have almost a devotional symbolism to them,
and the tree itself represents a country or two.
Here are the ones of which I find mention in English:

Slovenia
the Czech Republic
Slovakia

The former East Germany, in the old Soviet bloc,
included a region called Lusatia, (in German: "Lausitz")
where the linden tree is also highly regarded.
Actually part of Lusatia at that point
was inside of Poland.
There has been a Slavic culture in this area
since the 9th century according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

"Lind" is the Swedish name for the linden tree,
and we all know how "lind" occurs frequently in Swedish names.

Romania includes amongst its national monuments
one linden tree, a 'silver' linden, 5 centuries old.

In Poland,
the Polish portion of the Black Forest
includes many linden trees.
(is the forest black because of the shade trees?
Linden trees are famous for providing shade.)

And it seems that the world-famous Lipizanner horses
are named for a location
which is named for linden trees.

Germany's national emblematic tree is the oak -- "Eiche" .
But the special qualities of the linden tree
are worthy of a separate post in itself
where German culture is concerned.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 04:00 PM

Tilia is a genus of about 30 species of trees, or bushes, native throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. In the British Isles they are commonly called lime trees, or lime bushes, although they are not closely related to the tree that produces the lime fruit. Other names include LINDEN for the European species, and BASSWOOD for North American species.
    from Wikipedia

OH, basswood! I encountered basswood when I was learning to chip-carve. It's a smooth wood, very white.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 04:38 PM

The articles online about the linden tree emphasize
that the name for Linden's inner bark,
"bast",
ultimately resulted in that "basswood" name, oddly enough --
not the wood for carving, but rather the inner bark of the same tree.

Said linden 'bast' was in fact used in ancient cultures,
and in some archaic cultures that survived into more contemporary times,
for the raw material for fabric and garments.

If I read right, this turns up in, of all places, Japan.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 12:09 AM

William Barnes was an advocate of the rural life;

Let other folk make money faster
In the air of dark-roomed towns,
I don't dread a peevish master;
Though no man may heed my frowns,
I be free to go abroad,
Or take again my homeward road
To where, for me, the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 02:00 AM

Unter den Linden is one of the grand avenues of Berlin, although it never reached the prominence that Hitler and Speer envisioned. I lived in Berlin 1972-73. The part of Unter den Linden that was west of the Berlin Wall, was barren - the Robert Harris novel Vaterland depicts Unter den Linden as it was planned. It felt like a U.S. urban development project - sterile. I need to go back and see what it's like now.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 12:06 PM

A few years ago we were tourists on that street. Small choirs [perhaps LGBT] were holding vocal concerts, and vendors [Middle Eastern, IIRC] had tables of amber and other colorful wares. I bought a coverlet in gold, red and blue.

In the center stood a colossal bronze statue of mixed Friedrichs, Wilhelms, and Wilhelm Friedrichs. Clearly they did not know what to make of things below.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: Iains
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 12:52 PM

The linden tree has a history in mythology. A taster below.

https://www.journal-hfb.usab-tm.ro/romana/2015/Lucrari%20PDF/Lucrari%20PDF%2019(2)/41Tenche%20Alina%202.pdf


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 01:08 PM

The question of lightning is one I can't understand or figure out.

The dissertation abstract in Iains' link,
in the previous post,
states that when the wood from the linden tree
is used in the construction of a home,
the linden wood's purpose is to protect the structure from lightning.

??


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: Gordon Jackson
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 01:22 PM

Wimberly, in his Folklore in the English and Scottish Ballads, makes a few mentions of the linden as a destination of the soul after death, particularly those of lovers, although several other trees serve the same purpose. He also quotes a Danish ballad, Jomfruen i Linden, about a cruel stepmother:

"She changed us, some to fleeting deer,
And some to hawks, bade to skim the air;

Myself a linden tree she made,
And set to grow on a green-wood glade."

Gordon


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: Iains
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 04:47 PM

the linden wood's purpose is to protect the structure from lightning.
In Switzerland Linden were planted for shade and as lightning attractors close to farms, especially on moraine hills.
In Italy Lime branches were also considered able to send witches away from forests and to protect from lightning or bad spirits.
Chapter 3 below:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271527673_Cultural_aspects_of_the_trees_in_selected_European_countries


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 05:48 AM

It grows like a weed a hundred feet tall and is prone to mold infections. It sacrifices strength for speed of growth and loses one inch branches. Its reproduction cycle is messy but what isn't. If you need lots of shade in a hurry go with a Linden. Its fall color is drab.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Feb 19 - 10:23 AM

Keb, I think farmers planted a linden somewhere near a house so it would grow fast and tall. Since it is the tallest thing around, lightning would hit it instead of the house or chimney.

It seems like a weak wood which is unlikely to be used in actual construction. I could be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: leeneia
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 12:49 PM

Keb, thanks for the info about bast, used to produce fibers from the linden tree. I tried to learn more, but got sidetracked into Bast,. the Egyptian goddess, a Mr. Bast, and a band called Bast.

Only one source, dictionary.com, yielded this:

Also called bast fiber. any of several strong, woody fibers, as flax, hemp, ramie, or jute, obtained from phloem tissue and used in the manufacture of woven goods and cordage.

I searched for 'images of products made from bast', and I got images of cameras. Go figure.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Feb 19 - 12:23 PM

This blog entry displays poorly on my monitor screen,
but it is very informative about bast.
They use the term "lime" in order to refer to the Tilia tree group.
Also lots of color photographs.

Bast and Basswood: lime bast


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Subject: RE: Folklore: the linden tree
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 12:08 PM

It always amazed me that linoleum was named for linseed oil. Everipedia--flax

It's also always amazed me how important fibers have been. Everipedia--bast fiber

Seems all interconnected,


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