It’s been a heady few weeks in my academic world. We recently launched the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow (which I co-direct), I welcomed a new cohort of Fantasy MLitt students and started teaching the fantasy honours option, I delivered a keynote lecture for Oxonmoot 2020, and I recorded other video lectures on a number of topics for my students. And in the midst of this we’re still in the claws of a global pandemic, and everything feels hopeless and yet hopeful. So, because I did a lecture on the sonnet form this week, and because I encouraged my students to write a sonnet as the best way to understand the form, and because I must practice what I preach, and because, heck, it’s National Poetry Day today, here’s a sonnet, saturated with what my world (academic and not) feels like right now.
The “once upon a time” of fairy-tales
Is not another time or other place,
It’s when the words and images set sails
In mind and heart to light our eyes and face.
We walk, we climb, we hurt, we make new trails,
In faërie stages do we set the pace,
Like merlins, ravens, owls, and nightingales,
We see the green sun rise in skies of grace.
No, Faërie-land is not another place.
Though like canaries we may start the rhyme,
Like phoenixes our feathers we replace,
And here and now we count the hours chime.
And while we’re here and fight with nail and tooth,
In Faërie we sojourn to find our truth.
1 October 2020