Friday, May 29, 2015

The Living Dead

Honouring our poetic ancestors

19-9-1947 - 24-5-2015 

Though we come and go, and pass into the shadows, where we leave
behind us stories told – on paper, on the wings of butterflies, on the
wind, on the hearts of others – there we are remembered, there we work
magic and great change – passing on the fire like a torch – forever
and forever. Till the sky falls, and all things are flawless and need
no words at all.

Tanith Lee

One of my very favourite writers has just died. Well-known as an author of fantasy and horror novels, she was also a playwright — and a poet. Unfortunately her poetry is hard to find. The words above are hers, but are more accurately described as poetic prose. They are now the only thing on her website, red against a black background; presumably at her behest, ahead of time, or perhaps chosen by her husband. The press report says she died peacefully in her sleep after a long illness. 

I just finished reading one of her books a few days ago! (Cast a Bright Shadow.) And only yesterday, knowing nothing of the news I was about to learn, I was thinking that I must re-read The Silver Metal Lover which I found when I was a young mother, soon after it was first published in 1981. It has remained one of my most cherished books, and I have re-read it several times. I consider it the most beautifully romantic book ever written.

It was also the book which introduced me to its author. Though I think nothing equals its perfection, her other books are wonderful too. She created magic and beauty. 

She was incredibly prolific. Just have a look at this bibliography! Here is her Amazon page (which is of course many pages long). If you love poetry — as I know you do — you will love her fiction too, which loses nothing by being written in beautiful language.

You can read one bit of it for free online (complete with typos by whoever transcribed it, but nothing can spoil the tale). She rewrote some fairytales, and this is her version of Cinderella.

Her Wikipedia entry says:

Lee's style is frequently remarked upon for its use of rich poetic prose and striking imagery. Critics describe her style as weird, lush, vibrant, exotic, erotic, rich, elegant, perverse, and darkly beautiful. The technique she uses is very descriptive and poetic which works well with the themes she uses in her mythical stories.

And she tells great stories! But I am explaining why I include her in a column about poets. Simply, it is because she was one — even if many other things besides. Though her poetry is difficult to find on the web, bits of poetry are scattered through her novels, forming part of the story — including this untitled piece from The Silver Metal Lover.

 A rose by any other name
 Would get the blame
 For being what it is -
 The colour of a kiss,
 The shadow of a flame.
 A rose may earn another name,
 So call it love;
 So call it love I will,
 And love is like the sea,
 Which changes constantly,
 And yet is still
 The same.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Weeds/Weediness


“A man of words and not of deeds, 
Is like a garden full of weeds.” 

― Benjamin Franklin

“With the exercise of a little care, the nettle could be made useful; it is neglected and it becomes hurtful. It is exterminated. How many men resemble the nettle!" He added with a pause: "Remember this, my friends: there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators.” 
― Victor HugoLes Misérables

Wikipedia: "dandelion . . .  is a well-known example of a plant  that is considered a weed in some contexts (such as lawns) but not a weed in others (such as when it is used as a leaf vegetable or herbal medicine).

Midweek Motif ~ 

Challenge:  Must we rid ourselves of weeds? What if we don't?  What if weeds and valued plants reversed themselves in our gardens? In what areas are we weedy or tolerant of weediness?

"What would the world be, once bereft,
of wet and wildness? Let them be left.

O let them be left; wildness and wet;

Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."
-- Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem Inversnaid


Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community.

(Next week Susan's Midweek Motif will be Sustainability.)

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Monday, May 25, 2015

BLOG OF THE WEEK - an Update with ZQ

Here is an extra-special treat for you, my friends - an update with ZQ, of ZoralinQ, or, as he describes himself, "R.K.Garon, in mortal form". We last caught up with him in an interview in 2014, and very much enjoyed the visit. So much so we decided to go back for a follow-up and see what high-hearted mischief he has been up to since.