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The Wishing Tree

Friday, 20 May 2011 9:49:15

Friday, 20 May 2011 9:49:15
New title and finished ballad - which could easily be explored further, of course.

Rotund, stonewashed and shiftless
He stood in the dark inn yard
Round, unwashed and in her shift
She thought her life was hard.

She remembered when, still but a child
She wandered fair and free
By the river, through the woods
And to the wishing tree.

And as she grew, the spell remained
And grew malignantly
So she would always regret the day
She stood by the wishing tree

The wishes she made were childish
Full of jealous spite
But she half-forgot those wishes
Until one fateful night

In her dream, the vision spoke
"Your wish will now come true"
And the fire that warmed the cottage
Grew and grew and grew.

She escaped the inferno
The only one to flee
But she was left an orphan
By the spell of the Wishing Tree.

So now the two of them stand
Stand in the old inn yard
But only she knows why
Their life is bitter and hard.

Be careful what you wish for
For your wish - it may come true
And if 'twas made with bad intent
For sure, that day you'll rue.


Stonewashed

Tuesday, 17 May 2011 17:44:55

Tuesday, 17 May 2011 17:44:55
I suppose the moral is - be careful what you wish for.  Obvious maybe but then ballads aren't usually the last word in sophisticated philosophy.

Be careful what you wish for
For your wish - it may come true
And if 'twas made with bad intent
For sure, that day you'll rue.

Arrr.  I feel a rustic accent coming on.    Neverheless, I'll leave that to simmer and put the whole thing together - tomorrow, I hope.


Stonewashed

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 12:02:05

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 12:02:05
Although there hasn't been much time for this blog, I have been thinking about the Stonewashed ballad.

The wishes she made were childish
Full of jealous spite
But she half-forgot those wishes
Until one fateful night

In her dream, the vision spoke
"Your wish will now come true"
And the fire that warmed the cottage
Grew and grew and grew.

She escaped the inferno
The only one to flee
But she was left an orphan
By the spell of the Wishing Tree.

(her only) So now  the two of them stand
Stand in the old inn yard
(And ) But only she knows why
Their life is bitter and hard.

Should there be a moral coda at the end?  Should she make another wish?





Stonewashed

Tuesday, 3 May 2011 15:03:10

Tuesday, 3 May 2011 15:03:10
Back after a break...

The wishes she made were childish
Full of jealous spite
But she half-forgot those wishes
Until one fateful night

Next stage in the story -

In her dream, the vision spoke
"Your wish is about to ... "
And the fire that engulfed the cottage
Grew and grew and grew

Altered to -

In her dream, the vision spoke
"Your wish will now come true"
And the fire that warmed the cottage
Grew and grew and grew

(The change in line 3 implies, I hope, that it was the cottage's own fire that got out of control not an arson attack.)






Stonewashed

Thursday, 21 April 2011 13:38:46

Thursday, 21 April 2011 13:38:46
I have to decide on the nature of the wish or wishes she made. I don't want to be too definite - leave some room for imagination. 

She wished bad things on her

- who?  I'm in danger of ending up with a Rossetti-esque cousin- or sister-hating poem. 

The things she wished...  No. How about:

The wishes she made were childish
Full of jealousy / spite...
She forgot the wishes
Until the fateful night

The wishes she made were childish
Full of jealous spite
But she half-forgot those wishes  (I don't want them entirely forgotten)
Until one fateful night


Stonewashed

Tuesday, 19 April 2011 10:42:09

Tuesday, 19 April 2011 10:42:09
I need to insert some other action here:

The day was fair she wandered there
Far from the stony fields
But her mind was filled with ----
And envy that would not yield

and alter the verse slightly:

And so she stood by the wishing tree
Feeling the old rough bark.
She sighed and made one wish
And at that, the sky grew dark… 

And, yes, decided - for the moment at least - that it's to be a Wishing Tree.


Stonewashed

Friday, 15 April 2011 9:54:43

Friday, 15 April 2011 9:54:43
As she stood by the <something> tree
Feeling the old rough bark
She sighed .............................
Before the sky grew dark

- or, at that, the sky grew dark…  No point in being too subtle in a ballad.

I’m discovering that the simple rhyme scheme allows a lot of flexibility and therefore the decisions here are less to do with the poem than the narrative – deciding what may happen.


Stonewashed

Tuesday, 12 April 2011 12:07:54

Tuesday, 12 April 2011 12:07:54

Rotund, stonewashed and shiftless
He stood in the dark inn yard
Round, unwashed and in her shift
She thought her life was hard.

She remembered when, still but a child
She wandered fair and free
By the river, through the woods
And to the <something> tree.

And by that tree she heard that sound
And saw the sight that froze her bones
All by the <something> tree

(That's sounding like a chorus - maybe)

And as she grew, the spell remained
And grew malignantly
So she would always regret the day
She stood by the <something> tree

The trouble is, this could grow and grow. It could also become rather silly. Not that I mind writing a silly poem - but it's a bit of an easy way out. I will have to think about what happened to the poor lass.


R S & S Ballad

Thursday, 7 April 2011 14:27:42

Thursday, 7 April 2011 14:27:42
An extra beat or two in lines two and four?

Rotund, stonewashed and shiftless
He stood in the dark inn yard
Round, unwashed and in her shift
She thought her life was hard.

She remembered when, still but a child
She wandered fair and free
By the river, through the woods
And to the <something> tree.

Usually I know where I'm going - if only vaguely but this time I'm striking out across country with no map or compass.





Rotund, stonewashed and shiftless 2

Thursday, 31 March 2011 16:00:05

Thursday, 31 March 2011 16:00:05
Rotund, stonewashed and shiftless
She stood in the yard
  -  No, he not she.

Rotund, stonewashed and shiftless
He stood in the yard
Round, unwashed and in her shift
She thought life was hard.

Thriftless? 

Is this the start of a ballad.
It has all the makings - poverty, misery and a rhyme.



Rotund Stonewashed and Shiftless

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 12:19:51

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 12:19:51
It was Alison from Teachit that suggested I go to OED's word of the day for inspiration for my next poem.   Well, thanks Alison.  Today I find shiftless there. First definition = Helpless for self-defence; void of cunning or artifice. Obs. I especially like the Obs.  Two previous words of the day are Stonewash and Rotund.  I can see a rotund male in his stonewashed jeans being a bit shiftless - but is that enough to get me started?   Especialy when I often go on about writing 'honestly'.    How can I make myself care about this rotund shiftless stonewashed person?  

I may be some time.....


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