Category Archives: Query

Query: Alphabet of Forms?


A number of Frye’s books now housed in the Frye Collection at Victoria University have laid in a small sheet or card on which Frye constructed a table of twenty-six lines, beginning with the seven-letter sequences “y o u a u o y,” “y o u b u o y,” “y o u c u o y” and continuing through the alphabet to “y o u z u o y.”  Occasionally he made one of these grids with the “y” omitted, making a five-letter sequence (“o u a u o,” o u b u o,” etc.), and in at least one case there is a chart with only three letters in the twenty-six line column: “u a u,” “u b u,” and so on.  The grids are almost always incomplete: one or more of the slots will be blank, the initial letter having been omitted.  Some of the grids have the letter “a” added to the right and left sides.  There are dozens of these mysterious palindromic sequences, and they can be found as well scattered throughout Frye’s notebooks and other manuscripts in the Frye papers.  Might a blogger out there know what this “alphabet of forms” is all about?  Might it have some connection to the secret name of the seven-day week that Robert Graves deciphers in The White Goddess or to one of Graves’s other alphabet riddles? (Pictured above, a rendering of Robert Graves’ symbolism representing the essential nature of the White Goddess.)