Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Oh! Goose Girl

This poem has an eerie source of inspiration. I have always loved fairytales, and in
particular, The Goose Girl. I was actually half-asleep when these words sort of
composed themselves in my mind, like the muse came for a subconscious visit. I
woke thinking "what is this"? And then I decided maybe I would not write it down
and just let it be a magical or whimsical aspect of sleep. Then, I heard my phone
ring and I let the answering machine pick it up. It was the strangest recording. It
actually sounded like a small girl singing underwater or to be more poetic, a naiad
singing on the river bank. The message was  inaudible but it had a
melodic, fluent quality. So I took it as a sign that this poem should be written down
and recognized. What it means? I really don't have much of a clue except it's ambient
and meant to evoke that sense of a nursery rhyme or folk lullaby that both soothes
and haunts the listener.



Fold into sleep
my flame-haired girl,
Your white geese sail on the water.

Dream of royal days
my doe-eyed girl.
Your white geese feed off the marshes.

I’ll take your hand
my hush-lipped girl
and trace his name within your palm,
so when you wake – you’ll call for him.

Your white geese soft in the shallows.
The lovely image is by illustrator, Elizabeth Shippen Green, an artist from the late 19th century into  the early twentieth. And of course, the title is "The Goose Girl".

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