Get yourself to the Wood Sisters winter storytelling festival in Devon this first of february: the link above will do it. Some fantastic storytellers - a feast - a great hoard of nutty and brilliant performers. I have it on good authority that women outnumber men at least two to one in this country as storytellers now, and some great examples of the art form are gathering here. Gentleman take notes.
Tom Crane is also a name to watch (under 18's storyteller of the year), Spindle Wayfarer is my absolute favorite teller of ghost stories, rocking up from the south-east is Abbie Palache with her antler-tipped tales, and many lucid and gifted yarn-spinners from the westcountry. Wish i could attend - bless the Wood Sisters and long may they do their work.
Alas we leave on the train for London in just a few hours - so 'APPY NEW YEAR.
Here's some Lorca translation from the Hut. Stephan Harding comes round and sings them in Spanish with guitar and wine. We weep and think about smoking cigars. He then gives them a very literal spanish-english translation. I then get my hooves in and hand them back. We then get out a dictionary and figure out what we can get away with. So here's just a few raw lines continuing this honouring of the feminine. And below that is something from the old country.
OK - see you on the other side. X
Manana (Morning) p. 118
7th August 1918 (Fuente Vaqueros, Granada)
To Fernando Marchesi
It’s erotic sap
guttering the fields,
It’s the blood of poets
who’s souls get tangled
in the paths of nature.
from her welling crag,
In the bright morning
the hearth smokes,
and its plumes are arms
groping upwards in the mist.
..In the rosiness of
a forever morning
she is mist:
Christ should have told us
to turn in our fears tonight -
all our pain and meaness -
to her who rises to the sky
wrapped in sheaths of white.
No one can ignore
It's the water
in which we drench
Grief gifts us wings,
there is nothing to compare
to its holy shores.
Deirdre Remembers a Scottish Glen
Irish, unknown, possibly fourteenth century
Glen of my body's feeding:
crested breast of loveliest wheat,
glen of the thrusting lorn-horn cattle,
firm among the trysting bees.
Wild with cuckoo, thrush and blackbird,
and the frisky hind below the oak thick ridge.
Green roof that covered a thousand foxes,
glen of wild garlic and watercress,
and scarlet berried rowan.
And badgers, delirious with sleep,
heaped fat in dens next to their burrowed young.
Glen sentried with blue-eyed hawks,
greenwood laced with sloe, apple, blackberry,
tight-crammed amid ridge and pointed peaks.
My glen of the star-tangled yews,
where hares would lope in the easy dew.
It is a ringing pain to remember all this brightness.
Copyright Martin Shaw 2014