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Peg Powler by Richard H. Fey

PostPosted: August 09, 2011, 12:28:33 PM
by bottomdweller
I enjoyed this quiet warning, because of the many levels to it. It works on the surface as if it is a parent telling a child to be careful around bodies of water. But it also works as society telling adults to be careful while boating, for instance. In the most broad sense, it could be the universe telling would-be explorers to stay at home in the safety of civilization. The deepening levels make this one worth mulling over.

Re: Peg Powler by Richard H. Fey

PostPosted: August 10, 2011, 12:23:25 PM
by RHFay
I am always interested in what others read into my poetry. You see such analyses in literary discussions of the works of "dead poets" all the time, but it takes on a whole new dimension when it's a discussion of your own work. What Bottomdweller says here makes me start to look at my own poem differently.

This is not the first time someone has seen more in a poem of mine than I originally saw myself. I wrote this piece because I was inspired by the lore surrounding the English hag/nursery bogey said to reside in the River Tees. I had first encountered mention of Peg Powler when I read Katherine Briggs' AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FAIRIES, back when I was in middle school in the early 1980s. I ran across mention of Peg again in FAERIES by Brian Froud and Alan Lee.

Seeing Peg Powler as something of a nursery bogey to keep children from playing too close to the river's edge, I carried the idea of a warning throughout my poem. I never really thought of a broader warning. However, I can see how there might be a broader sense to the poem than simply a warning to children to stay away from the river. It could be a more general warning to avoid many potentially dangerous situations. Or, maybe not. I guess it' depends on what each individual reader reads into it.