It's the last day of the Poetry Challenge, so sharpen your pencils one last time. Our theme today is "The Wild in Myth, Folklore, and Fantasy." Interpret that as you will. Wild as in wilderness; wild as in mythic Wild Men and Wild Women; wild as in Trickster tales and characters...it's entirely up to you. If you need inspiration, have a look at this post on wild folklore from the "Into the Woods" series.
I'll post the rules of the game one more time:
I am challenging all you poets out there to share a poem (or poems) on the theme of the day. Brand new poems are encouraged, but your older poems are welcome too. You don't have to be a published poet to contribute; you don't have to be a regular reader of this blog; and you don't even have to be an adult (but if you're a child, please let us know your age). To participate, just post your poem(s) in the comments thread below. Reader response to the poems is encouraged and deeply appreciated, as our goal is feedback for every poem. It truly "take a village" to make these Challenges work, and I'm deeply grateful to you all.
Speaking of feedback, do check in on the Comment threads from earlier in the week, where lovely new poems keeping appearing, as if by magic....
As something of a departure for this last day of the Challenge, our featured poem doesn't come from the Journal of Mythic Arts, but from my friend and Chagford neighbor Tom Hirons, whose richly mythic poem "Sometimes a Wild God" is the perfect piece to kick off the day. "When the wild god arrives at the door," Tom writes,
He will not ring the doorbell;
Instead he scrapes with his fingers
Leaving blood on the paintwork,
Though primroses grow
In circles round his feet.
You do not want to let him in.
You are very busy.
It is late, or early, and besides…
You cannot look at him straight
Because he makes you want to cry.
The dog barks.
The wild god smiles,
Holds out his hand.
The dog licks his wounds
And leads him inside...
You can read the full poem here, on Tom's Coyopa blog. Or listen to a reading of the piece by Mark Lewis below:
The photographs here come from Wilder Mann, a photography series by Charles Fréger (based in Rouen, France), who spent two years traveling through nineteen countries documenting the folk pageants and festivals of what he calls "tribal Europe." The resulting photographs have been exhibited internationally, and collected into an absolutely amazing art book. The art, in turn, inspired a CD of music by the Italian composer .and sound designer Theo Teardo, Music for Wilderness.
The Winter Poetry Challenge ends at midnight tonight, whatever your local time is. You're welcome to comment on poems after that, but no more poem entries, please, once the clock strikes midnight.
Now I'll leave you with these words by Jay Griffiths, from her fascinating and brilliant book Wild: An Elemental Journey:
“The wild. I have drunk it, deep and raw, and heard it's primal, unforgettable roar. We know it in our dreams, when our mind is off the leash, running wild. 'Outwardly, the equivalent of the unconscious is the wilderness: both of these terms meet, one step even further on, as one,' wrote Gary Snyder. 'It is in vain to dream of a wildness distinct from ourselves. There is none such,' wrote Thoreau. 'It is the bog in our brains and bowls, the primitive vigor of Nature in us, that inspires the dream.' "