Sunday 5 October 2014

The Stolen Child

Inspirations - there's one of mine. Mike Scott, sitting behind the book-signing desk in the festival tent: black hat, musical mist about him, song in the lilts of his speaking voice, minstrel to his bones. Shook the hand that strums. He wrote on my book.

Listened to him earlier in conversation with screenwriter, Richard Curtis (4 weddings, Black Adder). Mike is Richard's musical hero. Richard got teary just speaking the lyrics of Mike's songs. I know how he feels.

When I first heard 'The Stolen Child' I cried. The words of Yeats spoken in a brogue made of peat smoke. How can music smell green as the wet of water-mint, make a dawn-dim dell of the ceiling dark, show faery faces in yellow-damp woodchip, bear the host of the sidhe on the window draught, take us back where morals don't even matter because all is play.

The vision comes with wist and yearning. We have a pact. Eternal childhood is forfeit. Our destiny is to return and suffer. That is our pass out, not the hand of a faery. Oh, but we're drawn...

I've now begun book 3 of the Waifs trilogy. I've called it Nigma. It's informed by Yeats' poetry and Mike's music. My hope is that, for the space of a sentence or two, it calls the human child away to the water and the wild. This side of the divide is lighter when a poem, a song, a book, opens to the other and sends us out to play.

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