Exploring “Chanter” A Pagan’s Year (Stubborn Sod, The Headpoke And Firewedding, Ghost Holiday) A creative exploration of sources used to create my poetry series, featuring the cracking art of Marcel Herms.


Stubborn Sod January

Chanter 1

Chanter 2

Exploring “Chanter”

My “Chanter” is also called Carmenta, or Carmentius. Goddess of song and poetry. Why haven’t I called her that? It’s to do with my aversion from using Latinisms and Greekisms  that hold their own, not always positive baggage. So, I try to find the etymological root of the name. This approach is prone to dangers, wrong ascriptions, the modern world invading. I go with my gut feeling.

Here is a link to one of the websites I used.


She has two sisters. One looking forward, one looking back. Three women as companions occurs throughout the three books in various guises.

A woman takes us out of the year in the final volume, in preparation for release this year and Chanter brings us into the New Year.

When I worked at a Manvers Call Centre (There are a series of poems about that experience at the beginning of my collection  Please Take Change.) during the time we had for lunch, or at the end of a shift I would wander around Manvers Lake. (There are photographs of this lake in my collection The Headpoke And Firewedding.)

Manvers Lake is built on the site of what was once the largest shunting yard, providing trains to take the coal from Manvers Pit. It is now a memorial park

It was wonderful watching the buds emerge in Spring and how the waters reacted to high winds and ice. Sometimes the water was so clear you could see the bottom on the shoreline. Also, spectacular sunsets. I wrote ice crackles faces about the lake and its surroundings.

Compound words have been used for centuries: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/685791/summary

Hopefully by joining the words together I create something new. You may notice how I refer to fields of grain as like water, a new slant on this, perhaps.

Marcel’s sketch is of a figure on a horse. The figure is splashed with red and anticipates the next poem called Red the Strong. The slashed red speaks of violence, blood and guts.

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