Monday, November 20, 2006

Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?

When I was in grade school, my sister Nurse Rachet handcrafted a gorgeous, fully illustrated book of 20th Century poetry. One of the poems was "Overheard On a Saltmarsh" by British poet Harold Monro:

Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?

Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?

Give them me.
No.

Give them me. Give them me.
No.

Then I will howl all night in the reeds,
Lie in the mud and howl for them.

Goblin, why do you love them so?

They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man's fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.

Hush, I stole them out of the moon.

Give me your beads, I want them.
No.

I will howl in the deep lagoon
For your green glass beads, I love them so.
Give them me. Give them.
No.

I read the poems my sister illustrated over and over again. This is one of my favorites, and I loved the grotesque and envious goblin she drew, eyeing the nymph's moon beads with avarice.

Give me your beads, I want them.

This poem came to mind today as I was looking at my friend Lunesse's website, juiceglass. Lunesse is a very talented glass artist, crafting unique glass beads and jewelry that she sells on her site (and a growing number of locations worldwide.) She's also a gifted writer, as well as Thomas Dolby's webmistress and tour manager, so look for her along the road over the next month if you're going to one of the gigs!

When she's not behind the scenes of the great music machine, Lunesse also entertains commissions for one-of-a-kind glass pieces. One of my friends received an exquisite piece of Lunesse's work earlier this year as a Mother's Day gift, and she adores it.

Today, while pondering the gorgeous jewelry that Lunesse creates, I couldn't help but feel like that goblin, wanting all the lovely things.

They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man's fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.

There's something about glass that has been carefully manipulated by design at the hands of an expert. Smooth and cool and utterly unique in its finished form, but born of fire and the vision of the artist who can see how the swirls and dots and colors will mesh together before the cooling chemistry decrees that movement must stop.

That's pretty damn amazing. In an old school, ancient world, real-deal artisan kind of way.

If you have a chance, visit Lunesse's site. The woman has got some major talent, seriously. When my finances are healthy again, I'll be adding some of her lovely glass to my jewelry box, no doubt there! I've added juiceglass to a new category on the right side of my blog - links to things material and cultural and healthful (and caffeinated) that I recommend, both in the DC area and online.

It's so very cool to have friends who are able to make their way in this world doing Things Creative. It's a genuine inspiration. I hope to take that path someday, too.

Until then, I will be an appreciative goblin, eyeing the nymph's beads with envy...






3 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

The poem is incredible. Thanks, Merujo.

peirra said...

My mother used to recite this to me and now, many years later and thanks to search engines on the internet, I have found this beloved poem. Thank you!

Merujo said...

peirra - I'm so glad you were able to find the poem here. So cool to find someone else who has childhood memories of it!