Radio Show – Episode 49 – Bealtaine – Bright Fire – May 3, 2020

Hello, Wild Ones!

Enter the Wildwood and feast your senses in the magic, mischief, and flowering spirit of Beltane by way of the Forest Halls Celtic streaming radio program. Airing today from 12-2pm PST, Show 49 and a re-airing of Show 3 “Green Man and May Queen” will be on demand for the next two weeks. Enjoy greenwood music, folklore, poetry, a tale, flights of fancy, and, as always, harp.

Experience the  enchantment here

In Show 49 – Find harp in the music of Christina Tourin, Miranda Brown (in the band Jaiya), Alison Kinnaird (in the music of Eilidh MacKenzie). Enjoy bardic poetry with Halo Quin and Kevan Manwaring, a poem by Charles Stanley Causley, and a tale and prose by Jane Valencia

In Show 3: Harp with Anne Roos, Christina Tourin, Shelley Phillips, Debra Knodel and Jane Valencia (Spookytree). Read extensive notes here.

01:27 Jackie Oates / Hail! Hail! The First of May
03:55 Shira Kammen and Pam Swan / Lord May’s Set
08:55 Goitse / Transformed
18:06 Mes Aïeux / J’Entends Le Loup, Le Renard Et La Belette (La Jument de Michao)
22:12 Jane Valencia / Story: I Hear the Wolf and the Fox and the Weasel
31:50 Christina Tourin / Oak
38:03 Jaiya / Beltane Night
43:30 Halo Quin / Poem: Headless at Beltane
46:12 Kevan Manwaring / Poem: Heartwood – from his book The Silver Branch: Bardic Poems and Letters to a Young Bard.
47:51 Telynor – John Peekstok and Anna Clemenger / Sprig of Thyme
51:28 Molly Pinto Madigan / Willowwood
57:55 Eilidh MacKenzie / Thig am bàta (The Boat Will Come)

A Wander into the Green Chapel

I first met this middle English poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, when I was studying the History of the English Language and Medieval Literature in college. Soon after, I studied the medieval Welsh tales, The Mabinogi, and I was struck by the similarity of themes and motifs in the first part of the First Branch, Pwyll Pendeuic Dyfyd with some that appeared in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

The lord of the Otherworld/the Green Man, the Beheading Game, the Hunt, the intelligence of nature … images and snippets of tales from these two pieces wove themselves into my soul or found resonance in it. The original version of my children’s fantasy novel, Because of the Red Fox, was closely sourced from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In working on that first version, I longed to walk the terrain of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, specific as it is in the poem, and discover for myself the Green Chapel (though I was not keen to meet up with the Green Knight and face a potential beheading!).

Decades later, poet Simon Armitage — who created a masterful poetic translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight — created a documentary about seeking the landscape of the poem. As I watch the last section, in which he enters the Green Chapel, I’m stunned to discover how the landscape closely resembles what I’d imagined for my original tale.

About the documentary:

“Poet Simon Armitage goes on the trail of one of the jewels in the crown of British poetry, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, written about 600 years ago by an unknown author. The poem has got just about everything – it is an action-packed adventure, a ghost story, a steamy romance, a morality tale and the world’s first eco-poem. Armitage follows in the footsteps of the poem’s hero, Gawain, through some of Britain’s most beautiful and mystical landscapes and reveals why an absurd tale of a knight beheading a green giant is as relevant and compelling today as when it was written.”

Here is a link to some of my writings, stories, and art related to the Green Man and entering the realm of wild nature.

… and here is a snippet of Deb Knodel’s and my Forest show, which begins with a meeting with the Green Man.

Just thought you’d enjoy a ramble into the mystery of the turning of the year and the greenwood!