Stories and poems

"The metaphoric image of 'orphan lines' is a contrivance of the detached onlooker to whom the verbal art of continuous correspondences remains aesthetically alien. Orphan lines in poetry of pervasive parallels are a contradiction in terms, since whatever the status of a line, all its structure and functions are indissolubly interlaced with the near and distant verbal environment, and the task of linguistic analysis is to disclose the levels of this coaction. When seen from the inside of the parallelistic system, the supposed orphanhood, like any other componential status, turns into a network of multifarious compelling affinities.'
Roman JAKOBSON, "Grammatical Parallelism and its Russian Facet", Language, 42/2, 1966, pp. 399-429, p. 428-429

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Story for Spring

The Ice Princess and the Sun God

Once upon a time, in a dark forest, there lived an Ice Princess. She had lived alone there for so long that she didn’t remember who she was or where she had come from. All she knew was that she loved the trees and the darkness and the shadows and that they kept her alive. She loved the snow on the moss, the stones in the hard dirt, the crunch of dead leaves and the branches that creaked and fell to the ground. She couldn’t remember spring. It had been dark and cold for a long time. She had forgotten about the cycles.
             One morning she woke up in her stone castle and wanted to go out for a walk in the gloom and admire the imprints of her boots in the snow alongside the tracks of the creatures that lived with her in the cold forest, but when she opened the door, she almost cried out in surprise. Everything was sparkling! The icicles on the trees looked like silver shafts and the snow crystals were glinting and dancing in some strange new light – the Sun! She saw a beautiful golden man coming towards ther through the trees, bringing the light as he came, making the ice start to drip and the plants look alive again. She was amazed. The man was tall with golden hair and green eyes, all dressed in green with a thick, brown wool cloak wrapped around his shoulders.
As he approached, she thought he was coming towards her to greet her, and she wanted to invite him in, ask him to take off his cloak, and get to know him. But when he drew close to the castle he turned abruptly away and started walking around the building as if he hadn’t seen her. She ran after him, confused. It had been so long since she had found someone to talk to and she worried that her voice might have frozen as well. As she was running after him, she realized that just as he couldn’t see her, he couldn’t hear her either. She reached out to touch him, but as she did so she felt her body start to melt as well, as though to touch him was to die. She wasn’t ready yet so she let him go.
After that, every day for a month, the Sun God returned and every morning the Ice Princess watched him from the doorway of her castle, making his careful way through the trees and branches, slowly bringing light to everything and making the Earth green again. Every night the Ice Princess went back to her icy bed and dreamt of being able to be a part of spring, but she was scared of what she had felt when she touched him, and of the change it presaged.
One morning, as she watched, the Ice Princess noticed that the Sun God was not alone. He was with a beautiful brown skinned girl who held his hand and laughed and kissed him as they walked. She lay down on the warming ground and he joined her, bringing new life to the Earth where they lay. As she watched, she silently screamed, for she recognized her intense longing for him and yet she knew that they would never lie like that together because she was not made of the Earth. His warmth would be too much for her and she would disappear. Yet afterwards, as she watched them leave, she suddently felt ready. She prepared herself, knowing that the next time, if he came alone, she would reach out to him, at the risk of her own unknown transformation. Even though she knew she would melt, she would at least get to partake a little of his light.
The next day he came alone. He knew it would be the last time that he would have to take care of this portion of forest for the snow was almost gone. Only a few patches remained in the shadow of the rocks. The birds were singing and the trees were humming with the birth of new leaves unfurling. As she saw him make his rounds of the forest, going in and out of the trees, she felt ready. She saw him come and ran to him, throwing her slender white arms around him. As she did, she began to stream down and around his body, creating little rivulets and forming a small stream at his feet. The God felt blessed by this sudden, sweet shower and he blessed in turn the river as he passed, watching it run over stones, twist and turn as it found its path, gurgling through the forest.
It was then that the spirit of the Ice Princess understood and was glad to have embraced her change, for though she missed the cold solidity of her body, she loved the flowing feeling of being a part of everything and of bringing another necessary element to the life around her. In her own way, she also brought nourishment to the forest, and like the Sun God, she was integral to spring. She infused the land with creativity and growth. The Earth held her as the Sun sparkled on her burbling and babbling, shining through the branches of the trees and the leaves. She remembered the cycles and knew that the time would come when she would once again find her icy home.

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