Tuesday, April 9, 2013

In Northern Waters

Young Seal by David Bollard

I have never been much of a poet, but I wanted the chance to include a story-poem in the collection in part as a nod to my hero Neil Gaiman, who often writes lovely genre poems (and often in obscure poetic forms, as mine is).

A selkie story seemed like a natural choice for the poem.  Selkies are a prominent figure in Celtic and Icelandic mythology.  These maidens are were-seals who shed their skins to come on land as beautiful women.  If a man were to steal such a skin, he could essentially enslave her and make her his wife -- but only as long as he kept her away from the skin.  Once I knew that I'd want to write an anthology about beastly bridegrooms, I knew that selkies would show up.

My hope -- and it's up to you, reader, to tell me if I've succeeded -- was to capture both the sadness and the wonder of the selkie tales.  The narrator may have lost his seal bride, but I think he's better for having known her.

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