Stories are more than mere asides to our lives. Imagine a day without stories, a day without the exchange of tales. How dull would the day seem, how much a waste of the potential for human connection, where opportunities for stories and anecdotes are neglected?
Storytelling is not some second rate, frivolous way of spending our time; in fact it forms the basis of our life experience; as we tell stories inside and outside our minds; sharing experiences and warding off the solitariness of our human condition.
Animals tell stories too. I am sure they enjoy dream stories as well.
Perhaps the poem entices us, because our sympathies remain with the Lamia who enjoys both a gorgeousness and a vulnerability that make her irresistible to our senses?
Who could resist this ‘penanced lady elf’?
Who would not wish to hear her words ‘bubbling with honey’ or to glimpse her dazzling ‘gordian shape’ as she lights up the world ? What a tale that might prove?
Inspiration is everywhere-not least in the stories of others!
She was a gordian shape of dazzling hue,
Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue;
Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard,
Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson barr’d;
And full of silver moons, that, as she breathed,
Dissolv’d, or brighter shone, or interwreathed
Their lustres with the gloomier tapestries –
So rainbow-sided, touch’d with miseries,
She seem’d, at once, some penanced lady elf,
Some demon’s mistress, or the demon’s self.
Upon her crest she wore a wannish fire
Sprinkled with stars, like Ariadne’s tiar:
Her head was serpent, but ah, bitter-sweet!
She had a woman’s mouth with all its pearls complete:
And for her eyes: what could such eyes do there
But weep, and weep, that they were born so fair?
As Proserpine still weeps for her Sicilian air.
Her throat was serpent, but the words she spake
Came, as through bubbling honey, for Love’s sake,
And thus; while Hermes on his pinions lay,
Like a stoop’d falcon ere he takes his prey.
Carol Ann Duffy 15 ideas!
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