Proglas - Herba - page 52

”Proglas“ really is the most beautiful celebration of letters and Word (which is understood as
second divine personality of Christ) and cannot be compared to anything else. The letter ”S“ itself
which is in Glagolica called slovo (or word in English) symbolises in it’s graphic form the first,
previously quoted words from John’s Gospel. In this ”calligraphic“ alphabet S is painted with circle
in the upper part-symbol of God, of eternity with no end and no beginning, to which is added
a triangle as a symbol of the Holy Trinity. This image conveys in itself that ”In the beginning was
the Word ... “ – Christ, second divine personality, and that this Word was with God the Father who
together with The Holy Spirit constitutes The Holy Trinity. This text, transcribed into an image can
be found, incidentally, on the face of the Slovak 10 crown coin. There we can see three figures
in the centre God the Father above Christ ( Logos-Slovo-Word), second divine personality
and below the Holy Spirit. A fascinating description of this imagery can be found
in the intriguing study of Titus Kolník in his study on Iconography
(Slovak Archaeology, 1994, No. 1, pp.125-153)
The metre of the poem itself was chosen in order to correspond with this idea. The iambic
trimeter consists of three double feet and each of them has two syllables. It seems as if the metre
of the verse with three quartets of syllables symbolised the Holy Trinity and four arms of the cross,
sign of salvation and Christ’s crucifixion.
In the original version the triplet of anaphors ( a poetical device that repeats the same word
at the beginning of the line) which is signalled by the conjunction ”i“ (and), by the verb sly‰ite
(to hear) and by the focal noun ”word“ is enforced by another poetic device, the so called
paronomasia (connecting two words with common root). It seems as if Constantine derived
the origins of Sloviens from Slovo - Word and from Christ, and he perceived Sloviens as a
new ”chosen“ nation. The structure of Proglas can truly be compared with the most perfect
poems of the world. To conclude our talk about the man who loved wisdom eternally we may
quote what the monk Chrabr (probably St Naum, the disciple of SS Constantine and Methodius)
said about his teacher:” When you ask people ....who invented your alphabet, your script,
or translated your books, everyone will know the answer. They will tell you it was
St Constantine the Philosopher called Cyril ... Brethren, that is the kind of mind that
the Lord send to Slovienes .
Bratislava 20th July 1995
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