Thursday, 15 December 2011

Here there be half-rhymes

00:08:00 Posted by Damp incendiary device , 4 comments

You know the jumps you make in your head? The leaps between memories which help build up your own visual/mental image of something. Well here are the 5 places my mind goes to when I try to come to terms with the concept of a dragon:

1) The Napoleonic Era. Have you read Temeraire? It's naval battles on the high seas but with added dragony goodness. Temeraire is a sweet dragon. He likes pretty jewellery and Chinese food. The kind of dragon you can imagine keeping in a kennel.

2) The poem I wrote in primary school which first put the idea of becoming a poet into my head. (see last week's post) I don't have the poem. I don't remember any of it. I can only assume it was astounding.

3) The mini-series Merlin with Sam Neill in which he saves Nimue (Isabella Rossillini) from a dragon which you never see. This is a scary dragon - a meat eater. Specifically a lady eater. It burns Nimue's face and makes her very sad. The dragon is pretty much responsible for the tragic element of the story. Bad dragon.

4) Puff the Magic Dragon. It's one of those tunes that will never sit easily in my mind. I don't know why. That song from The Sound of Music sits alongside it, the one about brains dropping from noses and cluster bombs on kittens. I think that's how it goes. Anyway, poor old Puff is a sweet reminder to children that they will get old and 'put away childish things.' Puff is abandoned by his 'lifelong friend' and stops growling, loses his scales and retreats to his cave. How delightful. Can we hear the song about the puppy that fell off the cliff next please? It's my favourite.

5) Finally, dragons remind me of how my writing has improved over the last 6 years. In August 2005 I wrote these lines:

Here there be rainbows
Here there be oceans
Here there be light
Here there be potions
Here there be kisses
Here wild things wander
Here there be thunder
And here there be dragons


That's right, I rhymed oceans with potions. This, believe it or not, is the chorus to a song I wrote when I fell in love with my partner. Falling in love is all about the darkness. It's about liminality and being a stranger to the rest of the world. Digging right into the heart of one person while simultaneously digging around in your own heart and tipping the contents onto a platter for them to consume at their leisure. And this otherness, the feeling of being on the fringes, of being exposed and more than a little insane, does actually relate to dragons. Because that is ultimately what dragons represent for me. They are linked to that strange landscape, that unknown place within where magic is a possibility and 'the force' might be within me. They mean retaining childish things, believing in fantastical creatures and escaping from the everyday into a state of being which is raw and susceptible to the gales of emotion.

To simplify: Dragons are us without the chains.
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4 comments:

Ashley R Lister said...

Dragons as a metaphor for love?

That works for me. Great post.

Ash

Lara Clayton said...

Great post. I love the final line, "Dragons are us without chains".

Lar x

Ste said...

Couldn't agree more with the 'Puff the Magic Dragon' comment - I researched the song a bit on Monday, looking for angles on the theme, and was pretty depressed by the end of reading the synopsis. 'Brains dropping from noses' and 'Cluster bombs on kittens' is far superior to the original. I hereby DEMAND that you now write an entire parody on said song immediately. Loved the label at the bottom as well you cheeky so and so! :)

vicky ellis said...

So the dragon metaphor is an improvement on the 'war is a fetid faberge egg' Ash? ;)

Ste - what day do you blog? (not letting go)