My open blog for people who want to read my books,articles, and any other things that I might produce, keep track of storytelling engagements, listen to my less demented rantings, and generally play nice (or naughty, I'm easy... as is widely known).
Pleased to say that I have recently heard that a poetry anthology to which I have contributed about ten poems will soon be out on the shelves, should any of you wish to order a copy (from on-line companies or, better yet, local bookshops). Moon Poets is published by the same publisher as my previous books and features work by a number of excellent poets, some of whom I have met and heard perform (such as Lorna Smithers). More details on the book to follow.
Not having recorded anything for a while (too busy marking, second marking, report writing, lecture prepping, and all the other end-of-term/beginning-of-new-term stuff that educators have to do), I decided to save what little creativity I have by reading someone else's far greater creative works ~ Christina Rossetti's long old poem "Goblin Market". It's a beautifully sensuous, allegorical work which probably set Freudians into a spin.
The book it is in is a wonderfully illustrated 1920s collection of children's poetry, all of which is about fairies, elves, goblins and the like - a Yule/birthday gift from a friend. I shall probably record some shorter poem from it at some point in the future. The picture inset is from the book. It is by an artist I've not previously heard of called Warwick Goble - who may well be famous, but I'm not familiar with many children's illustrators. I looked him up and he seems to have been really quite prolific.
This story was not originally set at any specific time of year, but I've put it at midsummer to celebrate the solstice. It is a Scandinavian tale that has a lot of variations, in which the princess Agneta is wooed (or bewitched) by the Merman who is sometimes also referred to as Sjokunungen, the Sea King.
He charms her in to the waters where she finds a new life - at least for a while. The ending is somewhat harsh (or is likely to be thought so by any child with a parent so little interested in them) - some interpreters see it as an allegory for a young woman being led astray from her Christian faith before eventually hearing the call and going back to the fold. Others give it a feminist spin of the girl again being seduced, somewhat like Kore or Red Riding Hood, before overcoming the "brain washing" of her abductor and returning to her true life. You may see something entirely different in it.
The at work is by John Bauer, a wonderful illustrator of fairy tales. Both t…
Today being the summer solstice we made the annual pilgrimage at silly o'clock in the morning (which is why I look like death warmed over) to Dunwich beach in Suffolk to watch the sunrise and pay tribute to the Shining One. Being so far east we get to see the sun before pretty much anyone else in Britain.
For absolutely no sensible reason beyond sleep deprivation I have decided to record a tale I have not told in a long while of how the American author H P Lovecraft paid a visit, as a sensitive and some might say overly imaginative young man, to his English relatives - and included a fateful visit to the seaside. Lovecraft is now famous for his eldritch horror stories whilst Marcus Rushbridger, who was mildly more successful with his tales of boys' own adventure in the far flung reaches of Empire, is now quite forgotten and out of print. Doubtless the envious Howard enjoys a smirk from beyond the grave.
All of this is, of course, as absolutely true as any electioneer's pr…