Friday, March 29, 2013

the fairy tale, pixy region and william browne

Fairy Feller's Masterstroke illustrated by Richard Dadd                        

The name "fairy tale" was first ascribed to them by Madame d'Aulnoy 
in the late 17th century (in French, conte de fées).

Folklorists have classified fairy tales in various ways.

Among the most notable are the Aarne-Thompson classification 
system and the morphological analysis of Vladimir Propp.
Other folklorists have interpreted the tales' significance, but no school 
has been definitively established for the meaning of the tales.

I am reading, most recently, The World Guide to Gnomes, Fairies,
Elves, and Other Little People by Thomas Keightley.  This novel
of 560 pages is bringing me so much warmth in the belly and 
cheeks.  My inherent pull towards folklore, tales, and those
supernatural beings described within began in my youth.  Not the
stories which were read and seen in pictures, it was and is the 
tickle of the unknown that gives me consistent belief that 
not everything is as it seems.. shadows of the peripheral, tiny noises 
in the backdrop, and quiet messages in the brain.  Somehow
I need to know that I do not know and the etherworld is the key 
to my mortality.

excerpt from a play called Britannia's Pastorals, 
writer William Browne, Devon (Pixy region)

Near to this wood there lay a pleasant mead,
Where fairies often did their measures tread,
Which in the meadows made such circles green,
As if with garlands it had crowned been;
Or like the circle where the signs we track,
And learned shepherds call't the Zodiac;
Within one of these rounds was to be seen
A hillock rise, where oft the fairy-queen
At twilight sate, and did command her elves
To pinch those maids that had not swept their shelves;
And, further, if, by maiden's oversight,
Within doors water was not brought at night,
Or if they spread no table, set no bread,
They should have nips from toe unto the head;
And for the maid who had perform'd each thing,
She in the water-pail bade leave a ring.

moral of the story:
remember to set out water, bread, and sweet butter
for the night or a pinch you will receive 

Frenn made by M and CH