The Wild Hunt ..
#1
'No-one now knows our Northern Isles
Our hogboons knowes and howes
And we say it's folk-lore.

Yet fetch down the peat from the hills,
Fetch in some turf from our pile
Fetch it before night falls.

Put the latch across the door
Tighten the window shut
through both of the months of Yule

We'll eat our clap-shot from the pot
The pot down the chimney hooked
Black on its chain, hooked from the stone

Don't go out to-night, but sit
Beside the peat-fire there and hear
The tales round the peat-fire told.

Shall I tell of the witch of Rousay
Who braved the boiling seas
A ship to save; how she was whisked away?

Or shall I tell of the selkie-folk?
Or Westray and its Wilkie?
Or our own hogboon?

Let's keep up the noise
I hear the wind upon our slates
Beating them crash after crash

It is just the wind- speak up!
Oh, Odin Woden didna go
Has not did not go away!

His dogs are breathing our peat-fire smoke
Their ears are peat-fire red as
His eight-legged steed thunders overhead.

This may just be wind but I
Know that he somewhere leads
His hunting dogs and souls.

There over Kierfea Hill
Over the bog and still
They rush in the sky

They fly in the sky
You must not see
Or you shall die.

Of course I'm really joking
But I shan't go out to-night
Now - why are you not drinking?

Tell me how the lobster is
And did you break your rudder?
Em-hem..a-ha..broke your rudder?

I've been collecting kelp
I'll spread on the land
My inch of soil needs every help

Did you see the wreck?
So sad, so bad, a terrible thing:
But---was there much to be had?

Yes, you remember right
My water-tank outside
This little croft of mine

Once crossed the Pentland Firth
And sailed round the world
A fuel tank with a steamer as its berth.

The wind it hammers louder now
Somehow the giant slates will hold
I worry for the beams

And how they withstand him
-it- its might, there in the starry night
Amid the Merry Dancers.

Another splash of Orkney whisky
We'll throw away the cork!
And lift our voices louder you and I

I need a well that nearer me
I asked the Auld Wyf to come and see
Whether maybe there's one by the quarry.

You'll tell me of your old croft
That stands all stone and still
Facing down to-ward the burn

Toward the burn and the hill
With your cow and your kye nearby
Beside your broch, living with us still.

Now, to the wooden box-beds soon
Sorry, say your name again--'
'Hogboon, hogboon, hogboon'.


Notes (to save google-time)

The tale of the Wild Hunt is an ancient one widespread, especially in Northern Europe, including the Orkney Isles, which are full of neolithic mounds brochs, circles of standing stones and many other archaeological remains. Orkney is located between the top of Scotland, and the Shetland Isles. Both Orkney and Shetland have Scandinavian, rather than Gaelic back-grounds, and an old language Norn used to be spoken there.

I used to have a little croft, called Blossom (for Blowsome), on Rousay, and at night it would have been easy to think that the hammer blows on my stout roof were caused by some supernatural horse's hooves, or a herd, passing in the sky, or just above the earth.

Orkney people did, indeed, exploit the numerous wrecks which the treacherous waters inevitably occurred as ships foundered, sometimes, it is said, thanks to the actions of the islanders. The Witch of Rousay was an historical person who rowed out bravely, and then steered a ship to safety, while strong men did nothing. For her pains, it was decided she could only have succeeded in this with assistance of the Evil One, and then people found that she had been responsible for the death of some animal and such-like. Eventually, she was thrown into prison in the chief town Kirkwall. Her fiance had previously been taken by the Navy, but a ship he was in returned at this time. He discovered what had happened, used Navy rum to get the gaoler drunk, got his keys, let out the 'witch', locked the door again, and took her back to the ship. The gaoler kept quiet of course: so then the locals were sure that she had vanished with the aid of the Evil One.


The Merry Dancers are the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis.

Clap-shot is made from potatoes and turnips -- I have since seen recipes where other ingredients are added, but that was the version we had.

Hogboon refers to a character, originally the founder of the croft or farm, who lived in one of the numerous mounds and cairns, and it once was the practice to give offerings of food. He guards the property, but he is a quirky, slightly bad-tempered type, liable to punish any little infraction.



Reply
#2
this reminds me of the film whiskey galore, (an oldie)
i feels earthy and the syntax feels the same, (imagine Spencer Tracey with a Scots accent)

We'll eat our clap-shot from the pot
The pot down the chimney hooked
Black on its chain, hooked from the stone

for me this set the theme of the poem more than anything else. i think you could edit out anything that really doesn't add to the piece abu. and maybe give some character to the narrator.

"ay, let me tap me pipe oot first wee laddie" (okay, that's not good hehe but you night see what i mean)
let's hear the narrators broadness.

all in all i enjoyed it very much.
thanks for the read.
Reply
#3
yes the wild hunt has been used often . I will need to read it more than once, but a work this size I believe only needs touches with a light hand, and I know you will tweak it over a long time until you are satisfied.. look at the articles it is them that you can enhance when redrafting. But on the other hand you dont need it too dence or a poorer reader will struggle
Perfection changes with the light and light goes on for infinity ~~~Bronte

Reply
#4
Ed,

not much time, but I find it too fetching in S2. Come back later. Looks interesting.

Dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
Reply
#5
I loved the opening build up, I wanted it to be a ghost story of some kind and to be worried that telling the story itself is somehow inviting supernatural forces.. something like that.

This line-
"A fuel tank with a steamer as its berth."

I feel like it's too long, maybe drop the a
Reply
#6
Ed,

(I know this is mild critique, but… So feel free to disregard, I just didn’t know how to give a “mild” critique on something of this nature that would be of any value, other than saying, cool story ed, thanks for sharing Smile )

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I think what holds this back the most is primarily a lack of a strong rhythmic quality, cadence, beat, etc. As it currently is, it relies too much on the rhyme to hold it together I’ve taken the first little bit and tried to give it a stronger, but not formulaic rhythm. There also seemed some redundancies which I removed, although some may have had meaning of which I was not aware. Such as in the lines

“Yet fetch down the peat from the hills,
Fetch in some turf from our pile”

At first this just seemed redundant, but then I realized what you were trying to say, but the way you said it made it unclear. For me it was a major stumbling point coming as it did at the start of the poem. I also thought for a long poem, three line stanzas were a bit short. Anyway, I am not suggesting this is how it should be, just a short rewrite of the first little bit which hopefully accentuates the rhythmic possibilities.


‘No-one knows our Northern Isles,
hogboons knowes and howes
we say it’s only fey folklore,
still… fetch the peat brought from the hills,
good turf to burn from that big pile,
and get it now ‘fore true night falls!
Then draw the bolt to bar the door,
and tighten windows shut,
for through the months of Yuletide
we’ll eat our clap-shot from the pot,
hanging blackened on a chain
embedded deep in chimney stone.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Other things:
“Odin Woden” They are the same name, one, Woden, is West German (Woden, Old English: Wōden, Old High German: Wôdan) the other “Odin” is North Germanic/Old Norse (Óðinn)


I’ll stop there as this is a mild critique Smile

Dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
Reply
#7

Billy

Thank you, and glad you got something familiar out of it --well you might have, as , although Orkney is not green like the Western Isles, the 'Whisky Galore' tradition lived on alright. I had some little plots of my land marked out with lines of upturned bottles of every sort. And they had the tradition of 'Wreckers' which a lot of coastal communities had, including Scilly.

I do not share people's antipathy to-wards articles: some languages don't have them ,eg Russian, or Latin, but I think they were developed for good reason. That is not to say I have used them well.

I had not thought about the narrator. I shall mull that


[quote='Bronte' pid='94070' dateline='1333867327']
yes the wild hunt has been used often .

Thing is, Bronte, I have heard the Wild Hunt! Smile


Chaotic Body,

I understand your feeling of let-down. It is not quite what I wanted, but not, because of a prolix indefinite article. It could do with a proper re-write, and perhaps, for once, I shall.

It was a land of ghosts, in truth. My wife took very little interest in the cairns and brochs and standing stones, but it must have affected her,because one morning she woke up, and told me she had dreamt that she was married to a little wizened but not old, skinny very small man, with brown or tawny skin. He had been moaning quietly ''We are all dying now, all of us''. It was very unlike her, so maybe there was something in the neeps...Smile




Thanks a lot, Dale.

I know that when I wrote this, I was quite happy, and wanted to get away from what people disparagingly call clickety-click, and to have lines of all lengths. I hoped that that would be sufficient to get the reader into the peculiar world I was describing, where it would have been easy for El Dawkins to have believed the the cadastral world was meeting the supernatural. It was so easy, on the top of my hill, to know that, as highest point, it must have had Beltane fires,, and been a look out from the very earliest Neolithic times. As you stood there, looking over the sea, with islands as if on a relief map, you knew that you were seeing exactly what those early people had seen--and since their eyes would not be much different to mine, and my brain not much different to theirs, in a way, one leapt back in time. Then there was the Wild Hunt at night.......

That was very clever to knock out a sensible version. I am going to have to have a long think, and either redo, or maybe something like it. (Or actually anything--I have got out of the habit of putting pen to paper, rather.) Smile
Reply
#8
Well, it gives you something to compare and contrast, regardless of the outcome. I wouldn't recommend "clickety-click" or sing song either, but a little cadence helps draw the reader in, that's my thought anyway.

Dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
Reply
#9
(04-19-2012, 12:03 PM)Erthona Wrote:  Well, it gives you something to compare and contrast, regardless of the outcome. I wouldn't recommend "clickety-click" or sing song either, but a little cadence helps draw the reader in, that's my thought anyway.

Dale

Dale, I must not be defensive, and I agree with much that you say. The odd thing is, that if read in an Orcadian accent (for which imagine Welsh if you can), it sounds quite pleasant to me, in parts at least. Thanks again. E
Reply
#10
(04-06-2012, 09:15 PM)abu nuwas Wrote:  'No-one now knows our Northern Isles
Our hogboons knowes and howes
And we say it's folk-lore.

Yet fetch down the peat from the hills,
Fetch in some turf from our pile
Fetch it before night falls.

Put the latch across the door
Tighten the window shut
through both of the months of Yule

We'll eat our clap-shot from the pot
The pot down the chimney hooked
Black on its chain, hooked from the stone

Don't go out to-night, but sit
Beside the peat-fire there and hear
The tales round the peat-fire told.

Shall I tell of the witch of Rousay
Who braved the boiling seas
A ship to save; how she was whisked away?

Or shall I tell of the selkie-folk?
Or Westray and its Wilkie?
Or our own hogboon?

Let's keep up the noise
I hear the wind upon our slates
Beating them crash after crash

It is just the wind- speak up!
Oh, Odin Woden didna go
Has not did not go away!

His dogs are breathing our peat-fire smoke
Their ears are peat-fire red as
His eight-legged steed thunders overhead.

This may just be wind but I
Know that he somewhere leads
His hunting dogs and souls.

There over Kierfea Hill
Over the bog and still
They rush in the sky

They fly in the sky
You must not see
Or you shall die.

Of course I'm really joking
But I shan't go out to-night
Now - why are you not drinking?

Tell me how the lobster is
And did you break your rudder?
Em-hem..a-ha..broke your rudder?

I've been collecting kelp
I'll spread on the land
My inch of soil needs every help

Did you see the wreck?
So sad, so bad, a terrible thing:
But---was there much to be had?

Yes, you remember right
My water-tank outside
This little croft of mine

Once crossed the Pentland Firth
And sailed round the world
A fuel tank with a steamer as its berth.

The wind it hammers louder now
Somehow the giant slates will hold
I worry for the beams

And how they withstand him
-it- its might, there in the starry night
Amid the Merry Dancers.

Another splash of Orkney whisky
We'll throw away the cork!
And lift our voices louder you and I

I need a well that nearer me
I asked the Auld Wyf to come and see
Whether maybe there's one by the quarry.

You'll tell me of your old croft
That stands all stone and still
Facing down to-ward the burn

Toward the burn and the hill
With your cow and your kye nearby
Beside your broch, living with us still.

Now, to the wooden box-beds soon
Sorry, say your name again--'
'Hogboon, hogboon, hogboon'.


Notes (to save google-time)

The tale of the Wild Hunt is an ancient one widespread, especially in Northern Europe, including the Orkney Isles, which are full of neolithic mounds brochs, circles of standing stones and many other archaeological remains. Orkney is located between the top of Scotland, and the Shetland Isles. Both Orkney and Shetland have Scandinavian, rather than Gaelic back-grounds, and an old language Norn used to be spoken there.

I used to have a little croft, called Blossom (for Blowsome), on Rousay, and at night it would have been easy to think that the hammer blows on my stout roof were caused by some supernatural horse's hooves, or a herd, passing in the sky, or just above the earth.

Orkney people did, indeed, exploit the numerous wrecks which the treacherous waters inevitably occurred as ships foundered, sometimes, it is said, thanks to the actions of the islanders. The Witch of Rousay was an historical person who rowed out bravely, and then steered a ship to safety, while strong men did nothing. For her pains, it was decided she could only have succeeded in this with assistance of the Evil One, and then people found that she had been responsible for the death of some animal and such-like. Eventually, she was thrown into prison in the chief town Kirkwall. Her fiance had previously been taken by the Navy, but a ship he was in returned at this time. He discovered what had happened, used Navy rum to get the gaoler drunk, got his keys, let out the 'witch', locked the door again, and took her back to the ship. The gaoler kept quiet of course: so then the locals were sure that she had vanished with the aid of the Evil One.


The Merry Dancers are the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis.

Clap-shot is made from potatoes and turnips -- I have since seen recipes where other ingredients are added, but that was the version we had.

Hogboon refers to a character, originally the founder of the croft or farm, who lived in one of the numerous mounds and cairns, and it once was the practice to give offerings of food. He guards the property, but he is a quirky, slightly bad-tempered type, liable to punish any little infraction.
Thoroughly worth your time and my read. I am half Scottish and half a whisky drinker. The Orkneys and I are old close friends....we have slept together. This is dream stuff of the real kind and I loved it. You write without fear of criticism, I wish that I could, and this is the trademark of a writer who is comfortable in his own skin...readable over and over. Thank you.
Best,
Tectak
Reply
#11

Thank you, Tic

No fear of criticism? You're kidding, right? That's why I rarely put stuff up, and never anything new--I'm easily shaken.

Your comment was bang on. I did feel that, notes notwithstanding, there was much in it that would only speak to a tiny fraction of humankind, like me, and to that extent it was mubo jumbo of the vain sort. However, if you are at all familiar with Orkney, and the Pentland Firth, you have a head start.

Our croft had no water or electricity, and we slept in the old box-beds, and did have a large pot on the go most of the time, hanging above the hearth. I was horrified to go to Stromness Museum, and find they had an example of the old crofts ---exactly like mine!Smile






























Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!