Happy New Year!!!!
We still have several chapters to get through before completing the Christmas Read-along, however . . . . Sorry about that! But keep reading and keep commenting, and you'll be eligible for a big giveaway at the end: a chance to win Veiled Rose, Moonblood, and Starflower all in one fell swoop!
Una dreams. I don't remember
if it occurs in this book, but in one of the later books we learn that the
Dragon is also known as Death of Dreams. I think this scene illustrates that.
In Moonblood we learn that the
sleeping dragons relive their dying dreams again and again. Their dreams are
probably something like Una's . . . longing dreams that can never come true,
tormenting them, building the furnace in their spirits.
Una dreams she is home, on her dear Old Bridge under the familiar shadows of
the trees in Goldstone Wood. She knows she's dreaming, but she tells herself
that she does not care. Instead, she revels in the momentary peace the dream
brings, even though it's a peace that will only accentuate her heartbreak upon
even inside this dream, she hears a song calling to her. A song not all
associated with her love and longing for Lionheart. A song which I do not
believe the Dragon would like to allow in her dreams, but which infiltrates her
mind, down to her spirit.
We who were
never bound are swiftly torn apart. The original ideas for this song--which
has become known as "The Sphere Songs" as the series
developed--actually stemmed from an Anglo-Saxon poem I read my junior year at
university. The poem is called "Wulf and Eadwacer," and it is a very difficult
piece that defies classification. Some would argue that it is a riddle; some,
that it is a romantic ballad, or even a selection of an epic.
way or the other, I found it haunting and intriguing . . . a mystery centuries
old. What I love about literature, old literature, is that link it creates
between us and those so long dead. As though we were never truly separated by
this flimsy thing called Time. Through literature, we can have the smallest
glimpse of what Eternity might be, unbound by Time, all of mankind united in
"Wulf and Eadwacer" made me want to reach out to that link, to join
with it in my own small way. So I wrote the rough draft of the poem that is now
featured in Heartless and in other
Tales of Goldstone Wood. It and the original share some similar lines and
I thought of my
Wulf with far-wandering hopes,
Whenever it was
rainy weather, and I sat tearfully,
warrior bold in battle encompassed me with his arms.
To me it was
pleasure in that, it was also painful.
"Wulf and Eadwacer"
covers the distance
shore to shore.
I follow in my
mind your far-off journeying.
But I will walk
that path no more.
"The Sphere Songs"
that one easily
sunders which was never united:
"Wulf and Eadwacer"
We who were
never bound are swiftly torn apart.
return to me?
"The Sphere Songs"
Give and take. I think the song, as it is used in Heartless, becomes a give and take between two spirits. Some of
those lines are Una's spirit, crying out into loneliness and despair. But
others are a response from the Prince himself, from the ministering wood thrush
even. Both sides of the song are a gift, for it gives voice to Una's longings
and hurts that she could not otherwise understand or express. It also answers
that longing and hurt.
definitely, over time, become much more than a mere response to "Wulf and
Eadwacer." Still, can you see how a study of ancient poetry and literature
can make a huge difference in your writing? I highly encourage those who wish
to pursue the writing life to also pursue literature of all kinds, ancient to
modern. And if you can pursue an English Lit. degree, so much the better!
No. Wait for me. In this scene we see Una, lost as she
is in this dragon dream, believing that it is Leonard she waits for, Leonard
she longs for. But the song reaches to her even there, even in the confusion of
her dream, and whispers the truth to her. It is not Leonard for whom she should
wait or hope.
Imoo and Rogan. Two knights of Farthestshore stand
guard over the gates of Fidel's northern fortress, watching over the king. We
don't know a great deal about either of these knights based on the information
in Heartless. I suspect, based on his
description, that Rogan is a Rudioban like Eanrin. Possibly even a cat, since
he's described as having eyes that "shone like those of a cat." We
really don't know where Imoo is from, however . . . at least, not at this point
in the series!
But he has a story.
Most of them have stories . . .
Diarmid. And so Prince Aethelbald strides right down into the
midst of the Dragon Village. The dragons do not recognize him at first. Many of
them have met him in another form, but they have never seen the Prince of
Farthestshore so humbly clad a human man.
yellow-eyed dragon recognizes him at once. And Aethelbald calls the yellow-eyed
dragon by his former name, "Diarmid."
least, never forgets the names of those lost to the fire. And he has not
forgotten Una's name.
1. With a laugh
that filled her whole body with feathery lightness, she jumped from the bridge
and splashed into the water, soaking her skirt up to the knees. It was cold,
bitingly cold, and delicious to feel. She spun around, searching the trees.
Sunlight gleamed through branches, spattering the ground with touches of gold.
Beyond the light, shadows thickened. (p. 289-290)
2. "I feel I
shall become like one of those before long." He indicated the stone
watchmen carved and set within alcoves of the fortress wall. There were two of
them, solemn figures from legends of Parumvir's past. It was the custom for
statues of these men to stand guard over the king's fortresses, but Imoo found
them uncomfortable company in the long watches of the night. (p. 292) I wonder if these two men might be Etanun
and Akilun? I'll bet they are!
Prince of Farthestshore," he said.
Diarmid," Aethelbald replied.
do you call me?" The yellow-eyed boy snorted. "Is that a name?"
is your name."
thing that. No wonder I forgot it. I have no name now, Prince." (p. 294)
Questions on the
different poems have inspired portions of Heartless.
Have you ever been inspired by poetry for your own works of fiction?
2. Some might look
at this scene as a situation where Aethelbald is not in control. Considering
his role as a Christ-figure, this might seem incongruous at first glance. What
are your thoughts? Do you think Aethelbald was overwhelmed and unable to help
these dragons? How does this scene fit into his role as Christ-figure?
3. Favorite lines?