Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Eldritch Mistress" Published in APHELION

My dark speculative cinquain "Eldritch Mistress" has been published in the September 2009 issue of the web-zine Aphelion. Check it out!

Yes, in a departure from my regular Aphelion scifaiku and horrorku publications, I have something slightly larger this time around. I like the form of the cinquan, although I don't profess to be any sort of expert at cinquain composition. Still, I find that I can typically say just a little bit more in a cinquain than I usually can in a haiku. In some ways, the cinquain form actually fits my style better than the haiku form. Maybe it's just symptomatic of my own limitations, but I often find haiku to be too restrictive. Cinquains let me explore the language of scenes, thoughts, and feelings just a little bit more.

As for this particular cinquain, I found inspiration in tales of fatally beautiful fairy loves, especially the Breton Korrigan temptress. She would sit beneath the dark forest canopy beside a ruined well, combing and braiding her golden hair. Through glamour she would transform mossy thicket into richly carpeted palace, only to have the spell broken by dawn's first light. I also added elements from the Manx Lhiannan-shee, the fairy muse that slowly drained life energies from poets and musicians.

And why eldritch, other than the fact that this happens to be one of my favourite words? Well, I'm trying to get extra power out of the title, treating it as part of the poem rather than just a tag. I feel that the possible root of eldritch, perhaps coming from the Middle English elfriche, meaning "fairyland", adds that fairy element missing in the poem itself (although hinted at in the use of the word fey). In my mind, fay equates to fairy; fey equates to doomed, visionary, or otherworldly, but not necessarily of fairyland. After all, fay is the old term for a denizen of fairyland; fairy (Fay-erie) was first used merely for a state of enchantment. And I'm none too fond of the modern preference for fae, a spelling that seems to simply be a shortening of the alternate spelling of fairy - faerie.

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