Ancona, Ann Bilde, autobiography, By the Sea, Candelabrum, Christian Meonia George, Dunderhead, Dust of Stars, Esbjerg, Fanö, forlaget-freja.dk, front cover illustrations, Hope, Horror Vacui, Karen M. Eskesen, Kvinden med den smukke have, On the Quiet, perversion of justice, poppies, Red Moon, stalking, The Sweetest Duet, The Woman with the Beautiful Garden, Trust, Under A Tree, Vinbaren, With You
The sonnet I’m releasing the sung version of today is one of three that have today been published as part of my wife, Ann Bilde’s documentary-cum-fairy tale, Kvinden med den Smukke Have (The Woman with the Beautiful Garden). The illustration on the cover is a photo of a water colour that a frequent visitor from Florida, Karen M. Eskesen, an American with Danish roots, painted of a poppy in our garden.
Kvinden… highlights the problem of stalking. Almost four years ago now we were chased out of our home and off the island of Fanö by a new neighbour who harassed us for 1½ years in an escalating series of abuses that culminated in round-the-clock surveillance and filming.
Wikipedia has this on the issue of stalking.
Kvinden… is written in the style and language of the classical fairy tale. It is a gruesome story, just as fairy tales so often are, but, just as fairy tales also so often are, it is a story told with a warm and waggish wit. The autobiographical element is disguised by way of archetypes instead of the actual people. Thus Ann herself is “the woman with the beautiful garden”, I’m “the poet”, and the stalker is “the witch with fire in her hair”.
We had lived in our 150-year-old house for over 15 years, in which time we had, according to “the elegant madame“, transformed it from the ugliest house in town into the most beautiful one.
The police were no help at all.
We don’t have any anti-stalking laws in Denmark, but the initial recommendations for some anti-stalking laws have recently been published. Ann has been lined up for several appearances in the media.
Five of my other poems/songs are also included in the book. And at the launch today at Vinbaren (The Wine Bar) in Esbjerg, run by David Apel, whom we know from Fanö, four of these were performed by composer and musician, Christian Meonia George: “Trust” (also known as “My Lady Lenor”), “The Sweetest Duet” (with me singing), “On the Quiet”, and “With You”.
“Hope” was one of two pieces I recited, the other piece being “By the Sea”. I’ve linked to the other two sonnets, “Dunderhead” and “Horror Vacui”, before. They can be seen and heard here.
“Hope” was published here.
Here’s a sung version:
The sonnet is a barely recognizable rewrite of two other sonnets, “Under A Tree” and “Dust of Stars” (published in my collection, Red Moon) which Ann and I wrote in Ancona on 14th and 15th May 1986, the first of several poems we wrote together. The capital ‘A’ in “Under A Tree” refers to the fact that the symbol for anarchy was painted on the tree we were sitting under when we wrote it.
The first quatrain is a rewrite of the first quatrain of “Dust of Stars”:
The day is swallowed by the past,
Will the future be never the same?
The burning match suggests a flame
The slipping sun forgets too fast;
While the third quatrain is a rewrite of the third quatrain of “Under A Tree”:
As a whisper at the doors of spring
Holds a river in peaceful spate
So we ever reposed do wait
The song that cuckoo and lark will sing;