When Elaine submitted her poem, Percy and Me ‘neath the Yum Gum Tree, I was astonished by the rhythm of the words, which were crazy, hypnotic even, and yet possessed a sense of order; the poem followed a pattern, but one I couldn’t explain.
One of the advantages of being a publisher is you get to ask the authors, poets, and artists what they were thinking of. So I did, and this is Elaine’s response…
You may have asked yourself this burning question: How did 12th century courtiers in southern France impress a queen, achieve creative immortality, and enjoy a pleasant head buzz all in one shot? Answer: they wrote sestinas. A complex spiraling poetic form, the sestina uses repetition of six carefully selected end words to create multiple levels of tension for the reader or, as Stephen Fry describes, “elusive patterns that cannot be quite held in the mind all at once.”
A double sestina with twelve repeating end words and a 12-line concluding envoi doubles the fun and the story effect. In “Percy and Me ‘neath the Yum Gum Tree”, a woman flees shallow modernity in search of veritas, only to get strung up, in the way of all good myths, in the company of a famous Romantic poet and curious wee people who bite.
When I set up Greyhart Press, I set out the Real Story Manifesto as a statement of what we were about. Elaine’s poem pushes at the boundaries of that manifesto, but I always said it was statement of are core style, and not a constraint. I enjoyed Elaine’s poem enormously, and that’s why I recommend it to you. The poem will be published on April 26th, here on this website. You can read it for free, or download an eBook version, which will be published on Smashwords on the same day.
We’ve got a busy publishing schedule for summer and fall this year.
- Zombie apocalypse novel Death Flu, featuring the most disturbing character I’ve seen in years.
- Time travel, nuclear holocaust, romance, and redcoats fighting the Scottish Highlanders around Fort William — it’s a compelling novel called, The Last Sunset.
- PG Wodehouse meets Douglas Adams, it’s the surreal village life of Badger’s Waddle — our first full-length book from Nigel Edwards.