Mr Pond in Print, and the matter of whimsy

If you’ve not heard already, you might be interested to know that my poem ‘Rampion’ just won the latest contest at Enchanted Conversation. It’s a ‘Rapunzel’ variant, told from the prince’s point of view.

It’s also (surprise!) my first published poetry, so I’m thrilled. I’d be keen to see what sort of critical observations you make—it’s a complex work, and there’s a lot there to find. Please do let me know what you think.

In other news, my esteemed colleague Daniel Gabelman has yet again continued his project of overturning the way we think about the way we think, and imagine. The latest instalment is a short article on whimsy, which not only had me wanting to cheer, but is, I think, quietly restructuring my own theories about writing and related things. Danny’s just that kind of writer—very much a name to watch.

Here’s a quotation to tantalise you into reading the whole article:

Whimsy is the gamesome servant of the imagination.

Generally speaking, whimsy is related to Aristotle’s principle of association or what Coleridge terms ‘fancy’.  It is a frolicsome cousin of memory, the power by which the mind makes connections with the past. Instead of associating the obvious and the similar, however, whimsy combines the unexpected and the disparate.  Whimsy does not connect flies with moths but with children’s toys as in Lewis Carroll’s rocking-horse-fly.

‘Good poets’, says W. H. Auden, ‘have a weakness for bad puns’.

Question, comments, critical analyses, and new ideas are, as always, welcome.

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