Poets in Music: Villains ❤🖤

After listening to this album, I wanted to talk about it. I missed the one year anniversary of this album, but better late than never. Now, I want to give a preface to this album. I watched the vlog series Emma did on the year of her making this album. It was a really nice insight into her every day life whilst making her debut album. She discussed the process of making an album and how artistically draining it is. It was fascinating to watch and it kept me inspired whilst I wrote my FYP last year. After purchasing the album, I went to see Emma perform some of her songs live in a small show in Dublin. She is a really good singer. I would love to see her again, and I loved the songs being performed live.

I talked about Emma Blackery’s music in a previous Poets in Music, but I didnt look at a lot of her music until Villains came out last year. So I’ve listened to her album and I wanted to talk about it. My first thoughts on Villains was how petty it was, but that was the point. I loved how she dragged people through the dirt and especially herself (well talk about that later). It was a stereotypical pop album. I’m not the biggest fan of pop music and the lyrics are good, not exceptional. But I loved the premise of her album. It inspired the first draft of my poetry project. Since then, I’ve changed the trajectory of the project, but it was Villains that started that process. So let me tell you about Emma Blackey’s debut album, Villains.

The premise of the album came from a list of people Emma kept as her villains. To differiante between her villains and her friends, she made a mental list to separate the two. This album is based off that list of villains she had collected.

Villains Part 1

The first song on the track list introduces Emma’s character as a destroyer and to be warned as a listener. Not everything is as it seems. This describes the deception of the album and the narrative it is trying to portray. This track list  is a list of her villains, but she began her album with a track, describing herself as a maverick and welcome to the show. Curtain call and move onto the next song. This song was a great starting point for the album, as it foreshadows the central point of Emma’s own mental struggles with her friends and the battles she faced with her enemies.

Dirt

When I heard this song for the first time, I couldn’t help but laugh. Now dont get me wrong, its catchy and it grows on you slightly. But the lyrics make me burst out laughing. Let’s spill the tea on those haters and all that. It feels like a deceptive track for the rest of the album as it was one of the sillier ones in my opinion. But it enters you into this pop feel that Emma wants to portray throughout. But as you go along, you find yourself listening to darker lyrics.

Agenda

This is my least favourite song off her album. No hate or shade. I just dont like the song. It’s the song I always skip in the album to move onto the next track. I get the vibe to it and it has a powerful message of being who you are and forget the people who want you to follow the status quo. But I just didnt vibe with this track.

Fake Friends

We’ve all been here at some point. To be friends with someone but keep each other at a distance. I know the darker side of you and I can reveal all. But I keep the peace so that you dont draw your sword against me. I enjoyed the upbeat sound to the track as it discusses the toxicity of friendships. However, this is the first track where it shows Emma’s tendency towards revenge. The only reason I’m not revealing the evil truth about you to everyone is because I’m not innocent either. You could reveal a lot more about me than I can  about you. It showcases the character of the maverick mentioned in track 1.

Icarus

Definitely one of my favourite songs from the album. Emma uses beautiful melodies with this song and I feel like it’s underappreciated compared to the other tracks. Emma writes about a person who cant accept where they went wrong. While everyone turns against them for the wrongs they committed, the person contests and refuses to apologise. She compares this person to the mythological character of Icarus, as he flew too close to the sun. Emma discusses someone with a massive ego. Just know where you went wrong, apologize and move on. Or else, you’ll end up burning up and falling to your death, like Icarus.

Take Me Out

I have a love/hate relationship to this song. I hate the chorus but it has some lyrics that resonates with me so heavily. Emma talks about the mentality of you against the world. I cant trust anyone around me, due to the experiences I’ve had. Believe me, I feel you Emma. One lyric in the song in particular that I love is;

“I put these walls up / Questioning the motives of my friends / they cant be trusted / I’m finding I’m the only one I have”

This song showcases the paranoia and social anxiety of having people around you that you cant trust. They may not have done anything to warrant this, but based off past experiences, you assume the worst. Emma reveals that sad internal conflict under the hard exterior she portrays throught the maverick character. She continues with that line of thought when she uses the title line, “I’ll take you out.”

Petty

As the title of the tracks suggests, this song is really petty and I love it. Emma based this song off a guy she dated, that called her petty and now, talks about her a lot since the break-up. This song is pettiness at its finest. Emma sings about how this song will take her places that he cant follow, as he continues to use her name for attention. Adding to the infectious beat, I always find myself coming back to this song and never getting tired of it.

Third eye

This song discusses more about this toxic individual who loves to cause chaos wherever they go. Emma sings about this person trying to manipulate everyone around her, along with her. She attempts to stay on top of this person and their deception. Emma attempts to give herself insight with her third eye. With the third eye, Emma is in control and wins against the toxic nature of this other human being. This song has become a fan favourite and I can see why, as it is the best song to dance to and Emma’s vocals are really good in this one.

What I Felt with you

As Emma put it, it’s a very lush song. A love song that talks about the sadness of a break-up. I want to know how you are doing, but I dont want to know about her. I dont think I can handle you being happy. It’s a sad song hidden under the upbeat tempo Emma establishes throughout her album. As the album progresses to the end, the upbeat sound continues as the songs get darker.

Burn the witch

This is my favourite song from the album. I think it encompasses the whole meaning behind Emma’s psyche when constructing this album. These people on her list want to destroy her, and when she attempts to reveal the truth about them, no one believes her. But her main point, “karma is a bitch and she’s coming for you.” Karma is my mantra and this song puts that into perspective as the whole theme to the album. She places her enemies on a pry and sets them alight. Everyone knows the evil truth about them, and Emma’s pettiness towards was justified.

Villains part 2

This last song becomes a final note from emma to the listener. She tells her audience that this list she constructed is gone. She threw it away, and that she has to put blame on herself. The construction of the album’s narrative centres on the people who wronged emma and her shading them. However, she accepts in Villains part 2 that she was the main villain all along. She divided people in her life into categories and never considered that she may be in the wrong. She accepts in this final track, that she was the villain and what must she do next to change that. She alludes this fact in the very first track of the album. But the album allows you to take a trip through Emma’s constructed list and her psyche. Then it opens your eyes to how destructive this was to begin with. Sure, it’s great to shade the people who hurt you. But the best way to heal from these things is to accept their point of view and what role you played in that destructive situation. Emma does this at the end. She accepts her toxic behaviour and hopes to move on from it.

For Project Cherophobia, I originally took inspiration from Emma Blackery’s album. I constructed a list of people in my life, the good and the bad. I designed the project behind the people who made up my life. But similar to Villains, it felt toxic to centre on the bad people. It wasnt just bad people, it was bad situations. So I decided to centre my project on the essential years of my life, but still keep the works I had on these people. I changed my trajectory. I appreciate the pettiness and shade emma gives in this album. I mean same girl, but it was vital that she accept her part in all of this at the end. You can be the villain in your own story. The overall sound to Emma’s album was good, but I stayed for the concept behind it all.

I’ll be just looking forward to see what she has coming next. And based off her latest video, it sounds interesting. Hope you enjoyed this post. I’ll talk to you in the next one.

The Painter and his Wife

I found this old poem I wrote a couple of  years ago. I wrote this poem about a man, who was mistreated in his final days. A woman believed to have loved him, walked away when he needed her most. It broke my heart to see that happen. Some people are just rotten to the core and only want to use people. I haven’t posted any of my poetry in a while and I’m surprised I havent shared this one yet. Here’s the story about the painter and his wife.

 

The Painter and his wife

 

“For better or for worse,

For richer or for poorer,

In sickness and in health,

Till death do you part.”

Words binding

In the eyes of God and man.

A man devoted to such vows

Sang his songs of joy,

About a painter who loved his wife.

Easier to listen,

Harder to see.

His crystal facade

Cracked under pressure,

As his wife lived

Through the bottom of a wine glass,

And the expenses of the best jewels and diamonds.

Easier to believe it was love,

When the painter loved his wife.

Harder to see this developed truth

Of growing debt and lack of love.

Then came the plague.

The painter infected.

Couldn’t speak or move,

Lost all he owned,

All that remained were his paintings,

And the love for his wife.

Through her rosy lips,

She spoke her final words;

“I didnt sign up to wipe your arse for the rest of my life.”

Down came the vows,

Down came the marriage,

Down came the man.

But never did,

The painter stop loving his wife.

 

 

 

Nanowrimo – My Failure

So I just got through the first couple weeks of Nanowrimo and….

I’m failing. Miserably.

The first day was pretty okay. I did a small amount of words. But I wasnt too concerned as I had the day off on Saturday to catch up on my word count. Now you may be asking, how did it all go so wrong?

Easy…I got sick. I got hit with the flu the second day into Nanowrimo, and since then, my progress has plummeted.

Every time I opened my computer, my mind went blank. Too foggy to actually attempt to write. But I have done something. I began the project I wanted to write for so long. I have it under the name “Project Zero.”

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It had a shaky beginning, but the hardest thing to do is start a novel. But I’m super proud I started it. But so far, I feel like a failure. I think that’s the downside to Nanowrimo. You fall off the rails and you feel like crap for not staying on top of it. But I should feel accomplished in starting the project. I’m much further than I was a month ago.

Also writers block has hit me again. But it will happen. I started writing again after so long, so the writers block will hit harder. I find it harder to jump into novel writing or short story writing. However, I still feel inspired to write. So when I have found difficulty to write my novel, I jump into my poetry project. It has evolved more this past month and I feel proud of that. “Project Cherophobia” has become a more personal endeavour and writing it has made me happier. I still need to find the structure of it and I still have more to write for it. I feel like it is a cushion for the work I am trying to do in Project Zero. When I hit a wall, I jump back to Project Cherophobia.

But so far, I have found Nanowrimo extremely difficult. I got the flu and im working all the time. I just find it hard to sit down and write. But I still pick up my phone and try to jot down some pieces of inspiration I get. So I haven’t lost complete hope. I’m way behind on my goal to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month. But at this point, I just want to write what I can. I started the projects and I feel proud. I dont regret starting Nanowrimo for that reason. I wouldnt have the initiative to start without Nanowrimo.

But let’s see how the rest of the month pans out. I hope you are all doing well in your Nanowrimo endeavours. But the point of the Nanowrimo is to write the story you’ve always wanted to tell. Dont get bogged down on the short comings or the low word count. Have fun with the writing and you’ll accomplish a large amount within a month. Talk to you in the next post.

Work in Progress #4: Nanowrimo and Two Projects

It’s been a while since I did a Work in Progress post. For the first time in a long time, I feel like writing again and getting stuck in. Writing has always been my happy place and I need some happiness in my life right now. By the time I am writing and posting this, Mental Health day just passed.

I know a few people in my life have struggled with their mental health. This year, I’ve struggled with own mental health. I might talk about that in a later post. But all I want to say to the people struggling: you are a wonderful human being. Everyone struggles and its okay to ask for help. You are not burdening anyone with your own crap. People are there to help where they can. And if you don’t have those in your life, there are professional people you can talk to you, who can help with your struggles. You are an amazing human being and you are enough 💜

Now, as for my work in progress, I have not worked on anything since my last work in progress post. My thesis took over my life and there was no way I could write my book and my thesis at the same time. My thesis is finished, so I feel compelled to work on the projects I love. The two projects I have in mind are the poetry book and my novel. Could I do them back to back?

Who knows, but I have some poems written out for the poetry books and a possible title. Well, I have a running title for that project called, “Cherophobia” which means the fear of being happy. Yeah, very bleak but it probably will change as I write more. That is only in the beginning stages of writing. Any poem that comes to me, I put it in the book. I’ll figure out which poems belong in the book later. Some poems I’ve posted on my blog will feature in this book. I’m super excited about it and it’s really personal to me. It will delve into who I am as a person and into my complicated mindset. Once I work on it more, I’ll give some points on what the project will be. I just need to figure it out more.

But the project that I most excited about, is my novel. This project has been my mind and heart for many years and I have written about my progress with this book for so long. But I have never managed to get it off the ground. I have the plans, I have the ideas. But my drive to put pen to paper hasn’t been there. This year has been a really tough year and the thought of writing anything was just not possible. But now, I feel like writing this project is good for me. Writing has always been my safe space and the only place I can be completely honest. And I really need that at the moment.

So my plan is to take part in Nanowrimo this year and crack out the first draft of this novel. I’m excited but I’m also terrified. I want to try this but I’m also scared that I’ll give up half way through. But I think it’ll be a good idea. It’ll get me to sit down, and write the project I’ve always wanted to write. 50,000 words in a month. Let’s do this.

So my current plan is to sort out more of my planning. Go back through my old notes and plan out what I am going to do for this novel. From the 1st of November, I start writing my novel. No hesitations this time. I’m getting this done. It’ll be tough but I’m super excited. I hope you come along on this journey with me, because I’ll definitely be posting about it. I just need something to drive me on. I want to end 2019 on a high note, and this project will be that. I shall be updating you on my Nanowrimo experience and continue to blog on other stuff. Hope you enjoyed this update and I’ll see you in the next post.

The Life of a Wannabe Mogul Review

This review has been a long time coming. I just finished my thesis so I feel I finally have time to catch up on some of my blog ideas that I have. But first, I need to talk about Bella Thorne’s new book, The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray.

bella thorne

I first heard about this book through Instagram, I believe. Bella Thorne was posting a lot about her new book. Now, I was one of those people who was apprehensive to buy her book. I don’t know. I feel like I want to support the unknown writers so they have more of a chance to make a living as a writer. Whereas Bella Thorne has a massive following and doesn’t need this book to increase her fame.

But when I saw what she was releasing, my interest was peaked. I have been reading a lot of poetry books, so to get back into the swing of reading. So when I saw some of the style of Bella’s poetry and the use of drawings, I just knew I had to get it.

Another thing I appreciate about Bella’s book is the raw emotions and technique used. Throughout the book, it is unedited and reveals Bella’s mistakes as she picks up a pen and writes. This was intentional and thats what makes her poetry so inspiring. You know as you read that she wrote from her heart and there was little monitoring done to it.

The books discusses dark themes, such as child molestation, torn up families and self loathing. I couldn’t put it down when I started reading it. A lot of the poetry grabbed me on the first line, but there were a few that I related to a lot.

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These are a couple of poems where Bella showcases her talent to elicit emotions with her words. Its powerful stuff. She talks about how much she hates herself and how she always looks for someone else to love her, instead of her loving herself. That’s dark and I relate to that idea. It’s so hard to love yourself that you try to find that love in other people. I just want that person to tell me how they love me and how much they care. I don’t believe it myself so I’ll believe it when it comes from someone else. It’s really haunting and beautiful. And her poetry is accompanied with drawings made by bella.

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The drawings bring out the dark emotions of her poetry. And she even chose to throw words around the page to show how distorted and fractured these thoughts are. Her style represents the emotions she felt as she wrote them, such as with this piece. 20190915_122608.jpg

Overall, this book are a thrilling ride to pick up and read. I highly recommend you check it out. It is worth the money. I wont show anymore poetry from the book so you can check it out yourself. Hope you enjoyed this review. I’ll be back with regular content as my masters programme is done. I submitted my thesis and I have more free time on my hands. I have so many more blog posts planned and so much I want to share with you. Glad to be back. See you in the next post.

Poets in Music #3

Billie Eilish

Hey, guys. I haven’t done one of these in a while, but I had to talk about this artist for a second. I adore Billie Eilish. It was so hard to choose my favourite songs from Billie Eilish. She is one of the most inspiring artists out there and her lyrics are so insightful. I’ve never seen anything like it, especially from someone as young as she is. I’m almost 24 and she is more accomplished than I will ever be. A lot of my choices are from her latest album, “When We all Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” Pick it up, download it. It’s amazing. As I have said before, this blog series talks about musicians who create music with insightful lyrics, who inspire my own work. I call these musicians, “Poets in Music. ”

8

Honestly, this one of my (maybe the only one) favourite Billie Eilish songs. It utilises the ukulele to play this heart-breaking song. Billie’s voice is altered to sound more child-like, but it works for the context of the song. The song tells the story of a person who gives their all into a relationship, only to get nothing in return.

“I came committed, guess I overdid it
Wore my heart out on a chain
Around my neck but now it’s missing, hmm”

Some lyrics like this, showcase a person who tried desperately for this relationship to work. But no matter what they did, the other person didn’t do the same. In an interview, Billie revealed that she wrote this song in the point of view of someone she hurt. She said she wanted to understand where they were coming from, when she ultimately hurt them. Its a beautiful song, with a heart-breaking story. And my favourite lyric from the song, sums up the whole song for me,

“I know you’re not sorry
Why should you be
‘Cause who am I to be in love
When your love never is for me”

 

Listen Before I Go

This song is one of the darkest songs I heard from her. This song comes, almost, as a window into the mind of someone about to kill themselves. The song stops you in your tracks when you hear the opening lyric, “Take me to the rooftop, I wanna see the world when I stop breathing, turning blue.” The initial message is clear. However, what I took from the song, was that it was a letter to the people this person is leaving behind. This person, on top of the roof, knows that their friends will be heart-broken, but still plans to end their life. They say things like, “Don’t say I’m all that matters, Leave me.”

This person seems to come to terms with their decision and is almost angry at their friends for possibly stopping them or just not caring enough to stop them, “Leave me like you do”

When I first heard this song, it gave me chills and if I’m being honest, I balled my eyes out. Never has a song hit me this hard, where it brought me to tears. The most creative and heart-breaking part of the song is the end. You have the end lyrics, where this person apologises to everyone,

“Call my friends and tell them that I love them
And I’ll miss them
But I’m not sorry
Call my friends and tell them that I love them
And I’ll miss them
Sorry”

And the last sound you hear in the song after the word “Sorry,” is the sound of wind, a thud and people’s screams. You just heard this person’s suicide. Its hard to listen to, but it is one of the most creative songs on suicide I’ve ever heard.

I love you

Now, when I first heard this song, I didn’t really like it. For some reason, I was too held up on the more upbeat Billie songs, that I skipped this one. But when I sat down and listened to it, I was floored. This would be my second favourite song from her debut album. Love is beautiful, but it sucks as well. Billie sums it up in this one line

“You didn’t mean to say “I love you”
I love you and I don’t want to”

This song tells the story of someone who confessed their love to another person. And this song portrays the fear and confusion in that moment. “It’s not true, Tell me I’ve been lied to” and “The smile that you gave me, Even when you felt like dying.” The song shows the possibility of everything blowing up in your face when you tell someone you love them. The point of view in song is from the person who heard this confession, and they cant comprehend it. No, you must be joking.

The song plays out this battle in their head, over whether or not, they love them to. Until the final line in the song, gives the answer,

“We fall apart as it gets dark
I’m in your arms in Central Park
There’s nothing you could do or say
I can’t escape the way, I love you
I don’t want to, but I love you”

Accepting that you are in love, and that it is terrifying. The lyrics are complemented with the beautiful guitar strings. It doesn’t distract you from the story that’s being told. I adore this song, and the many nuances it holds.

 

All the Good Girls Go to Hell

I love this song for its wacky lyrics and the dancing beat to this song. I cant explain why I love it. I just do. I also still don’t know what the song means. From my interpretation, it tells us that everyone goes to hell, even good girls. I don’t know. I need to listen to it more. But some of my favourite lyrics in the song are, “My Lucifer is lonely” (such a cool line), “Your cover up is caving in,
Man is such a fool
Why are we saving him?
Poisoning themselves now
Begging for our help, wow!” and “My god is gonna owe me”

Plus, the beat to this song is sick. Please make a music video of this song. Still waiting

 

Honourable mentions

When the Party’s Over

 

I feel this song in my bones. And this is one of the best music videos I have ever seen. Its creepy and creative, but that’s Billie Eilish. Some of my favourite lyrics in this song are, “Don’t you know I’m no good for you?
I’ve learned to lose you, can’t afford to”

and

“I’ll only hurt you if you let me
Call me friend but keep me closer (call me back)
And I’ll call you when the party’s over”

Wish you were Gay

wish you were gay

The artistic way they wrote this song, where they had the 12 steps to get over someone placed in reverse. An example would be

“Baby, I don’t feel so good,

6 words you never understood,

I’ll never let you go 5 words you never say”

“10 fingers tearing out my hair,

9 times you never made it there.

I ate alone at 7,

You were 6 minutes away”

The song is upbeat and talks about being in love with someone who is broken and cant love you back. So Billie’s character in the song, turns the guy gay so to explain why he doesn’t like her back. It shows the selfishness of someone, who wants someone they cant have. People gave this song a lot of slack, due to the title. Thought it was offensive, but if you listen to the song, Billie is basically outing herself for being selfish.

 

That’s it for this “Poets in Music.” I’ve missed this and its good to be back. I should have a review out soon on a book I ordered. I don’t know if you’ve heard about”The Life of a Wannabe Mogul” by Bella Thorne. Yeah, that’ll be my next blog post. *Fingers crossed* If not, Ill see you in the next post. Hope you enjoyed this one.

A note to the unrequited

I’m back. And the first order of business as I return to the blog-o-sphere, I want to show you what I have been working on. Its another project I have been planning and working on for months. May put it as my work in progress. I call this piece,

 

A note to the unrequited:

Rather remain silent than truthful. Rather keep up appearances than disrupt the flow. Rather remain friends, than attempt the unthinkable.

I love you. But I don’t want to.

A word to the unrequited: Silence is golden. Trust me…

 

This is the beginning of a prose piece that I have yet to summarize. In the point of view of an unrequited, the world seems unforgiving. To watch someone you love in the arms of another. I wanted to follow that train of thought. In my novel, I have a character that falls into that category. In my opinion, to be in love with someone who doesn’t know or doesn’t love you back, is the most heart-breaking emotion someone feels. But I also believe those people are the strongest. To be in love but never say it out loud. Its a tragedy that anyone can face. I just wanted to show you a piece of what I am currently working on.

I have just finished my college semester. Ill be doing my thesis during the summer, but for now, Ill be blogging more. I’m looking forward to start regular posting again. Its good to be back. Hope you enjoyed this post. Ill see you in the next post

 

 

 

 

 

International Women’s Day Book List

To celebrate international women’s day, I shall share some books that were written by strong females or books that talk about strong females. Most of these I have read, with the exception of one. The books contains themes such as femininity, female sexuality, sisterhood, sexual violence and many other themes that bring about female empowerment. Or opens up discussion about womens experiences and rights. If you are interested in these books, pick them up. They are all great books. So my choices of books for International Women’s Day are:

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

milk and honey

New York Times bestseller Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. Rupi’s collection of poetry is an amazing representation of femininity and what it means to be a woman. Her poems hit hard on topics, such as rape and sexual identity. I fell in love with every piece she put into the book and the strong illustrations Rupi created for each piece.

 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

the hunger games

The Hunger Games is a 2008 dystopian novel by the American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the future, post-apocalyptic nation of Panem in North America. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, exercises political control over the rest of the nation. This YA novel created a strong, female protagonist in Katniss Everdeen and I admired her when I read the series. I related to her cold demeanour towards strangers and how hard it is to trust. However, she is living in a dystopian society so it is harder to trust people. Katniss’ defiance against President Snow and the totalitarian state of Panem is inspiring and what you need to see every now and again from literature.

 

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

the round house

It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family. The novel focuses on race on an Indian reservation in North Dakota, rape and the aftermath of such a tragic event. It was a powerful read, through the eyes of a child witnessing the aftermath of his mothers rape. This story of vengeance, justice and history is a brilliant book and you should give it a read.

 

The Pleasures of Eliza Lynch by Anne Enright

the pleasures of eliza lynch

Based on the true story of the beautiful Irishwoman Eliza Lynch, who, in the 1860s, became, briefly, the richest woman in the world…In Paris, Eliza is in bed with Francisco Solano Lopez, heir to the untold wealth of Paraguay. The fruit of their congress will send Eliza across the Atlantic, leading a caravan of servants, clothes, jewellery and champagne on a regal voyage down the River Parana to her glorious future in Asuncion. Together with Lopez, Eliza embarks on a series of disastrous wars that define the nation and demonstrate her power – until she discovers the true sweep of her own cruelty. Anne Enright has an amazing talent at writing fascinating women. The character of Eliza Lynch captured my imagination when reading this book. Plus she is an Irish girl, which hits home. Brilliant writing, excellent female protagonist. Give it a read.

 

Asking For It by Louise O’ Neill

asking for it

A story about sexual violence and consent. Louise O’ Neill tells a story of an unlikeable girl who had a horrific thing done to her. This book marked conversation about consent and whose to blame. The book was fascinating, as the main character was deplorable at the beginning of the book. Therefore, when she was raped, people started to claim that she asked for it. She deserved to be raped because she was a horrible person. This book delves into those dark topics that need to be discussed in the world we live today. A world where the rules of consent become blurred, where yes means no, where its okay for this to happen to someone. This will be a tough read, but it is worth picking up.

 

Daughters of the House by Michele Roberts

daughters of the house

Thérèse and Leonie, French and English cousins of the same age, grow up together in Normandy. Intrigued by parents’ and servants’ guilty silences and the broken shrine they find in the woods, the girls weave their own elaborate fantasies, unwittingly revealing the village secret and a deep shame that will haunt them in their adult lives. This book centres on mother-daughter relationships and sisterhood. Moreover, the religious undertones take a feminist view, when Therese goes against the patriarchy of the church. Monsieur Cure represented the patriarchal Church, where he refused to allow Therese speak and called her stupid for seeing the Virgin Mary. Whereas, Therese leads a reformed religious belief with the Virgin Mary by her side. Moreover, the question of the female sexuality and the female body becomes a central theme within the novel. Its a slow-paced one and it jumps between timelines but I highly recommend it.

 

Thats all I have for this post. If you are interested in finding more books by women, about women, check out Our Shared Shelf on Instagram. Its always posting up-coming books and circulates many books by women. Hope you enjoyed this and I shall talk to you in the next post.

 

Irish Tales: Oisín and Tír na nÓg

Inspired by my previous posts, I wanted to try my hand at retelling the classic Irish fairytales I grew up with. We knew these stories so well, and it has been great to look back on them. By looking into these fairytales, I started to realize how vast Irish mythology is and how these stories only scrape the surface of our legends. I may make a post about Irish mythology down the line. But today, I shall be telling the story of Oisín and Tír na nÓg. Just as a preface for this story, the Fianna were a band of semi-independent warriors in Irish mythology. Tír na nÓg is known as The Land of the Young, and another way to name the Celtic Underworld. My retelling of this tale is taken from a children’s book I read years ago. So this will be told in a different way to other versions. So enjoy this retelling of “Oisín and Tír na nÓg.”

 

One morning, the Fianna were out hunting deer on the shores of Loch Lein in County Kerry. They saw a beautiful white horse coming towards them. Riding on the horse was the most beautiful woman they have ever seen. She wore a long blue dress, blue as the summer sky, studded with silver stars, and her long golden hair went down to her waist. 

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“What is your name and what land do you come from?” asked Fionn, leader of the Fianna. 

“I am Niamh Chinn Óir (Niamh of the Golden hair). My father is the king of Tír na nÓg” she replied. “I have heard of a warrior called Oisín. I have heard of his courage and of his poetry. I have come to find him, and take him back with me, to Tír na nÓg.” 

Oisín was the son of Fionn. He was a great leader and a poet. “Tell me,” Oisín said. “What sort of land is Tír na nÓg?”

“Tír na nÓg is the land of youth,” replied Niamh. “It is a happy place, with no pain and no sorrow. Any wish you make comes true, and no one grows old there. If you come with me, youll find out all of this is true.”

Oisín mounted the white horse, and said goodbye to his father and friends. He promised he would return soon. The horse galloped over the water, moving as swiftly as a shadow. The Fianna were sad to see Oisín go, but Fionn reminded them of his promise to return soon. 

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The King and Queen of Tír na nÓg welcomed Oisín, and held a great feast in his honour. It was indeed a wonderful land, just as Niamh had said. In Tír na nÓg, the trees were in constant bloom and the leaves never fall or die. All the people who lived in Tír na nÓg, were young and beautiful. They hunted and feasted, and at night, he told stories of Fionn and the Fianna, and their lives in Ireland. But he never felt as happy as he did, when he was with Niamh. And before long, they were married, and had two children, Oscar and their daughter, Plor na mBan (Flower of Women). Time passed quickly, and although he was very happy, Oisín began to think of returning home for a visit. Niamh didn’t want him to go. But at last, she said, “Take my white horse. It will carry you safely to Ireland and back. Whatever happens, you must not get off the horse, and touch the soil of Ireland. If you do, you will never return to me, and to Tír na nÓg.” She didn’t tell him that, although he had only been away for a few years, he had really been there for 300 hundred years.

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Ireland seemed like a strange place when Oisín arrived back. There seemed to be no trace of his father or the rest of the Fianna. As he passed through Gleann na Smól, he saw some men trying to move a large stone. “I will help you,” said Oisín. The men were terrified of this giant on a white horse. Stooping from his saddle, Oisín lifted the stone with one hand and hurled it. With that, the saddle strap broke, and Oisín was flung to the ground. Immediately, the white horse disappeared, and the men saw before them, an old, old man. They took him to a holy man, who lived nearby. Some say that the holy man was Saint Patrick. 

“Where is my father and the Fianna?” Oisín asked. When he was told they were long dead, he was heartbroken. He spoke of the many deeds of Fionn and the Fianna, and their many adventures together. He spoke of his time in Tír na nÓg, and his beautiful wife that he would never see again. 

Although he died soon after, the wonderful stories of Oisín have lived on. To this day, children in Ireland still retell the story of Oisín, and his magical adventures in Tír na nÓg. Some people claimed to have seen the beautiful white horse through the early mists of the dawn, only to disappear before their eyes, when the mist clears. 

 

Hope you enjoyed it. I have so many more tales I plan to share on my blog. Thats all I have for this post and I shall see you in the next one x

 

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The Owl and the Pussycat

I decided to do something a little different. I was remincising on my childhood and I remembered a lovely poem I read when I was young. I couldn’t remember the name of it. I searched and I searched. Then I remembered the story of it and I found “The Owl and the Pussycat.” A lovely little children’s poem I loved when I was little and I wanted to share with you.

I have a couple of blog posts ready for the next week or so. I cant wait for you to see them. But in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this poem. I got the poem from Poetry Foundation.

The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear

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I
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

II
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

III
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

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