Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Woodwife

Sandys, Frederick - Morgan le Fay
The Woodwife





The woodwife fled
when none could see
and went where none
but she could go.

Green were her sleeves
in the howling snow, out
from the halls of Kingswinter
when no moon shone.

Ashen she was as the grey
before break of day
from living where no fire
could stay, or sun's ray pierce.

She’d come to learn
the celestial dance, practice
the arts with a man of air
for the time that never came.

She tired of the silken crucible,
cameos cut with  quicksilver scissors
and learned instead to laugh confetti
from chains of handfast paperdolls

tossing their snow as she ran, to fall
on dead hearths, blow for eternity 
round empty halls, behind the cursed
blind windows of Kingswinter.




.

February 2012





Based on a dream. We all have our own heroes.




Image: Morgan le Fay, by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys 
[Public domain], via wikimedia commons


26 comments:

  1. Dreamy and mystic, and it conjures up such images in my head. Well done!

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  2. You have dreams to write of, that's for sure. And so a fine myth is born. Like wood, she is magic, going like smoke where nothing else can.

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    1. Love the analogy Ruth. A smoky dream, and whirl of spirit snow your way in thanks.

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  3. Lovely mythic poem paired with a PreRaphaelite painting. Loved them both.

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  4. A poem to both establish a private myth and to share it. Love it!

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  5. nice classical dream...agree with ruth it is the things myths are born of...cameos cut with quicksilver scissors
    and learned instead to laugh confetti
    from chains of handfast paperdolls ....i really like this section, which makes me think of the mother figure, the keeping and entertaining of kids...or...

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  6. "learned instead to laugh confetti
    from chains of handfast paperdolls" BOOM! So good.

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  7. Wonderful write. So dreamy and flowing. Mystical mastery!
    http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/one-hell-of-a-ride-3/

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  8. Like I always say, when the real leaves you homeless, there's always the surreal, the subime, the sumbliminal, the para-paramour ... I read this as an adult's take on child's play, or what that play became in all seriousness as a charm against the threat of the real upon the imagination. Surely Morgana found the new Christian dispensation tediously white and deathly immortal ... Her wiles against Arthur/Gwydion Bach were an attempt to resume a fading matriarchy, hopeless as that may be. Glad she dances on here. - Brendan

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    1. Yes, I think the matriarchy may be gone forever, but like to believe the spirit within it remains as haunting a ghost as that slippery concept of trinity that seems to have come to its own time of fade, imo by destroying one, the destroyer of both. Thanks for reading, B.

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  9. absolutely great images

    ever read the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. he has a woodwife character in that.

    pedestal ivory goddess

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  10. the form and the imagery together felt so classical, so traditional ( a good way). don't know why- but I got an image of a woman as mother nature- existing inside and out...being able to exist where no human could- and creeping in to bring the seasons with her. I probably totally missing the point!- but the images I got felt gracious, magical, and historic

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    1. I like your take, stu, and I think it's in there somewhere--this was a dream, so I'm not in charge of figuring it out. ;-)

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  11. Again every single line is worth re-quoting here. Artful expressions

    ...practice
    the arts with a man of air
    ...and learned instead to laugh confetti

    magical

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  12. Brilliant and fantastic. I particularly loved the flow and the rhythm.

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  13. quite the mystic write with really wonderful images like
    quicksilver scissors and laughing confetti from paperdolls...you always come up with the unexpected and that's why i like your work so much

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  14. I agree with dulce...each line could be a quote..love the mystic feel...it feels any moment she would speak a spell

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  15. I find this poem rich with wonderfully powerful echoes of ages gone by. Is the heroine running from or to danger? That possibility provides an interesting tension to the poem. We find so much potential in taking risks, and without taking them I believe we die a little spiritually. Heroines represent so much the risk takers, those who are willing to challenge accepted norms. Someimes they seek knowledge, sometimes spiritual growth. Your heroine seems to be set on a path of self-discovery and the mythic language of your poem fits well her journey. Though it seems that the heroine is running from danger, the safety itself that she seeks may hold possibilities for further self-awareness as each place on the journy to self-awareness holds its secret store of renewal and growth.

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  16. Just love this, Joy Ann. The rhyme and flow fits perfectly to the theme and the whole concept of laughing confetti treated me to a big smile!

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  17. and learned instead to laugh confetti
    from chains of handfast paperdolls

    tossing their snow as she ran, to fall
    on dead hearths

    BEautiful.

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  18. I love, love, love this part:
    "and learned instead to laugh confetti
    from chains of handfast paperdolls"

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  19. The laughing confetti from the paperdolls is, indeed, wonderful. The whole poem has that kind of mournful, mythic quality. I hate to always compare your poems to other poems, but this one reminds me of the Belle Dame Sans Merci, especially in the first stanzas, the way the last line just sort of cuts off. For me this feeling was actually strongest in the first half of the poem, where it is so simple. Of course, the imagery at the end is very compelling. K.

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    1. Yes, I also felt the poem rather changed course midstream--and I'm not very happy with the last stanza--this will probably be one that gets a rewrite someday--but it's odd you mention Keats as I'd been rereading some of his love poems (my he was florid!) just before bed the night I had this dream. Thanks for your input, K. You always broaden my outlook

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  20. Mysticism interwoven, hedgewitch. The laughing confetti from paper doll cut-outs? That's inspired.

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  21. from chains of handfast paperdolls

    tossing their snow as she ran, to fall
    on dead hearths, blow for eternity
    round empty halls,

    I don't have to know much about poetry to KNOW I just love these lines!

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg