“The long night had just begun. The old hero struck his shield, and it resounded far and wide through the desolate streets of the city. He made the sign three times.”
— Novalis, from Klingsohr’s Fairytale
It was three years ago, at about this time in 2019, that the local group came together for the last New Moon Salon before the Covid crisis. At that last salon in 2019, we heard Patricia Dickson premiere Two Songs by Wm. Blake.
Little did we know that for the next three years we would not be able to have an in-person salon!
Well, on Saturday, November 12, we began again. It was a varied evening of poetry, music, fairytale, translation, conversation, and refreshments. And, based on the responses from the participants, it was a successful proof-of-concept that hybrid meetings, while of course not ideal, are a realistic and far from unsatisfactory way forward. How else can we include friends and members from far away?
The evening began with music to set the mood — a few pieces played on the classical guitar.
Next, I read opening passages from the work-in-progress translation of Klingsohr’s Fairytale, which appears as chapter nine in the novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen by Novalis. I am preparing this fairytale as part of a Section contribution to the 2023 Conference in Manitoba, Canada. I expect that the translation first draft will be complete for a performance reading during the Holy Nights 2022, if there is interest. In Advent, I will reach out to some Section friends who might want to hear a reading of this work-in-progress.
Not long will the beautiful stranger linger.
Warmth increases: eternity begins.
The queen shakes off dull dreams and slumber
When land and sea make love again.
Cold night will cleanse and purge
When Fabel gains the ancient right.
In Freya’s lap, the world will burn
And every passion find requite.
— Novalis, from Klingsohr’s Fairytale
Then, Marion and I performed the fairytale Jorinda and Joringel. Marion, Margit, and I made a performance video of this fairytale right at the beginning of Covid in 2020 (it was the second one we did, after Hyacinth & Rosebud). It seemed appropriate to perform this fairytale live at this first (post?) Covid salon. Live performance is different from a performance video — and we changed the music and the presentation accordingly.
Here is a view of the salon performance.
After this, Section poets shared original poetry. Nicholas and Peter read poems. A little more music, some genial conversation, refreshments and reflections, and the evening ended at 9:00.
Upon A Time Valentine / by Peter Rennick
Having expunged the busy fairies
From the fairy-tales and woods
Having blamed the step-mothers
For the mother’s sins and turned
Her into a witch who thinks
All the magic is hers even then
They don’t stop at mocking
The gods and the little people
But put their daughters in cages
And turn their sons into stones
Until only a flower can free them
From the spell of the world
The cowslip or the maiden’s breath
That grew here once
Two Acorns on a Stem / by Nicholas Morrow
Upon the path where I walk each day
I found two acorns on a stem
and bending down to admire their beauty
clearly heard two voices say,
“Take us with you so we can see
where you go and what you do,
for you have feet and we have none.”
In my pocket I placed them safe,
through the meadow to the lake
and sat for a while, listening,
watched leaves dancing on the water
sparkling like diamonds in the sun,
birds singing a merry morning tune,
and I could feel them watching too.
I placed two acorns on a stem
upon a table in my room
with many found treasures for company
and for three years they were my pleasure,
watched me sleep, dream, and wake,
listened to my prayers, joys, and woes,
met my friends and shared my life.
Then one fine fall day I heard them say,
“The time has come for us to go
for we hear a far-off beckoning
and feel something in us stirring,
something waking we must know.”
So, I planted two acorns on a stem
in the meadow where I walk each day.
Many years have come and gone
and I walk the path to the meadow
telling about two acorns on a stem
to twin girls who now are seven
and we terry beneath two oak trees
whose branches spread wide and welcome,
two girls laughing and my good company.