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10 thoughts on “A Pocketful of Crows

  1. says:

    Generally I prefer my books to be less whimsical and involve at least some brain action so I believed this would not merit an outstanding grade The poetic treatment of this stupid stupid love story wrapped with myth and fairy tale won me over 5 entangling shining stars Let us all be true to ourselvesThe moon is ringed with silver – a sign The air is sweet as summertime cThe year it turns and turns and turns Winter to summer darkness to light turning the world like wood on a lathe shaping the months and the seasons cI am brown and brisk and wild I hunt with the owl and dance with the hare and swim with the trout and the otter cNaked I turn in the firelight; moon silver fire golden cAnd now I can hear the sounds of the night the lapping at the water’s edge; the sueak of a mouse in the long grass; the calling of owls in the branches I can hear the tick tick ticking of a death watch beetle in a beam over half a mile away; I can catch the sleepy scent of lilacs on the common cThe vixen’s fur is warm and thick; I am no longer shivering For a time I run alongside her feeling her strength and the fierce joy of hunting under a blue milk moon with the promise of blood in the air and summer no than a heartbeat away Then in a moment we are one cWild creatures feel hunger differently My own is deep as wintertime; frugal as old age The vixen’s is joyous; exuberant; sniffing for frogs under the turf; snapping at moths in the shining air cI am brown and brisk and wild I hunt with the owl and dance with the hare and swim with the trout and the otter сMy people are the wolves the hare the wild bees in the forest My people are the birch trees the roe deer and the otter My people are the travelling folk that travel on the campfire smoke and go into the fox the wolf the badger and the weasel And I am not afraid c‘Do you have a name?’ he saysOf course not Names are for tame folk Names are for those who are afraid of our kind of freedom I have been every bird every beast every insect you can name And so I have no name of my own and cannot be tamed or commanded cNo one sees me as a rule Even when I show myself no one really sees me cWhat sickness is this? Why do I not take pleasure in my freedom? The air is bright; the sky is blue; the wind is filled with promise Why then do I feel so unlike myself so restless and strange so incomplete? Why then do I ache and fret and pine and rage and uestion? cI heard it from a white headed crow who heard it from a black sheep who heard it from a tabby cat that lives in a dry moated castle cThe travelling folk have no castles no wealth We do not hold lands or territories Instead we have the mountains the sea the lakes and the moors and the rivers This is our inheritance cAnd he will never once be mine or look at me with love in his eyes for who could love a brown girl who never stays in her own skin? cSuch a stone is a powerful charm and looking through the hole in its heart by the light of a tallow candle you can see as far as the ocean – even perhaps through castle walls cWhat a strange thing it must be to be named What a strange and terrible thing No man will ever name me not as a cat and not as myself A named thing is a tamed thing A named thing has a master cI shall sleep on your pillow and purr until you are mine for ever cJust for today it feels good to be tame and besides who else but I need know? cI sleep and by your side I dream of things I never knew I wanted cAnd now I know that this feeling is not a curse or a spell or a dream It is as real as the starry sky and the hot blood of the rat I caught last night in the castle kitchens This feeling at once so strong and so sweet; so real and yet insubstantial I have been warned against it and yet it does not seem so dangerous cI shall go into a cat and sleep on his pillow all night long Not because he is my love but because I do as I please and no one tells me what to do cToday I am a skylark tumbling high among the clouds flinging my song against the peaks dancing with the rainbows cI have no need of silks and furs I have no need of servants I have the silk of the dragonfly’s wing the snowy coat of the winter hare I have the gold of the morning sun the colours of the Northlights And I can go into a horse and run across the marshlands or travel with the wild geese as they fly towards the sun— cWe do not try to change ourselves into what we should not be cAnd William loves the fine black silk that lines my legs and armpits and the roundness of my breasts and the soft broad curve of my hip and would not see me change a thing cWe could have the moors and the lakes and the open skies and the mountains We could live in the forest alone and be everything to each other cAnd as the rose month reaches its peak and midsummer is upon us I know that our joy will grow and grow and fill the earth with roses cSing a song of starlightA pocketful of crowsSee the bonny brown girlIn her borrowed clothesSee her in a vixenSee her in a hareSee her in her true love’s arms at sweet Midsummer’s fair cI know his heart as he knows mine I need no charm to capture him; no adder stone to watch him by cOur love is like the mountains Our love is like the stormy sea Our love is like the midnight sky But I miss the peaks and the cold black lake and the forest and the islands I miss the open sky and the sun and the song of the morning in my throat cMy people were here when these mountains were ice and these valleys were nothing but streamlets running down from the glacier cAnd now for the first time I have a name Malmuira Dark Lady I wear it like a golden crown I wear it like a collar I have a name It binds me I am no longer a child of the world no longer one of the travelling folk but a named thing cI wish I could tell him how I feel But that would mean giving away secrets that are not mine to give I cannot betray my heart my blood The travelling folk may have disowned me but they are still my people cThe prince should have recognised his love whatever she was wearing And why did the princess not speak out when the prince went looking for her? Why did she lurk in the kitchens waiting to be saved? Why could she not save herself? And why would one of the Faërie have given her three wishes? And why would she waste them on a dress some dancing shoes and a coach and four? cSleep well love and dream of me And know that if I were to live for a thousand years there would still not be enough nights in which to dream of you cOur love is as strong as the mountains as endless as the oceans cOne thing at a time Wisdom must always be paid for cAnd then I lay down in the ferns and grass that grow around my hut and watched the fragments of sky through the trees and wondered how the sun still shone when my light had gone out for ever Now I am as old as Old Age and colder than ice and harder than stone cAnd I shall dance barefoot on your grave and sing like a lark with the joy of it and soar into the stormy sky and fill my throat with lightning cWe are the travelling folk We live And we will live for ever cWe may look like beggars by day but on this night we are kings and ueens and the world is our kingdom our playground the night and the starry night our canopy cMost people die an hour before dawn It is the point of least resistance to the pull of the darkness An hour before dawn you can see the pale seam of the night sky starting to unravel you can hear the birds as they awaken; there is hope And that is the moment at which they fade the old ones and the babes in arms the ones that slip gently into the dark and those who struggle till the end cThe two wolves come to me every night Together we sleep in safety The wolves bring me food from their hunt and sleep beside me and give me strength but I still miss my freedom cAnd though I still cannot travel I can sometimes forget who I am and dream that I am one of them and in dreaming grow stronger cBut when one has had so little love even table scraps may serve cThe time between Christmas and the New Year is a dark uncertain time a time when dogs howl witches fly and the dead watch the living cWhat’s a life or two between friends? c‘Is it so very obvious?’Everything is very obvious when you’re as old as I am cI know it is a lie and yet my heart will not believe it so Instead it dances like a star and leaps like a salmon and aches like a stone and there is nothing I can do to still its wild and hopeful song cWe take what we must and never look back and scatter our seeds to the four winds and into the mountains and over the sea and all across the starry sky cI want to tell her the child still lives safe in the arms of the travelling folk Nameless it will always be wild and fly with the crow and the magpie Soulless it will never die but go into the world again until the world is ended cAnd the laughter was like a giant wave that swept me into the primrose sky so that I was thistledown and fireworks and starlight cYou called me ugly and a slut You lied and you betrayed me Worse than that you named me cHe would have known and loved me wherever I chose to travel and he would have wanted to be with me whatever the cost to his heart or soul cNow I am in everything Now I am the wind the rain the love knots on the hawthorn tree cI have been tame and I have been wild And I swear I will never again be tame or try to be like one of the Folk or turn away from the ancient ways of the travelling people c‘Well met sister Blessed be’ c


  2. says:

    Joanne Harris has written a powerfully magical and fantastical tale brimful of folklore that draws on the The Child Ballads It is beautifully written poetic and lyrical and a short read It reads like a dark fairytale An unnamed wild brown girl roams the forests free to transport herself into birds and other wildlife She savours her freedom and is loyal to her people who are treated with contempt and sneered by others in society We follow the seasons echoing the aging process The wild girl takes an adderstone love token left by a woman with the name William on it This is the story of innocence love betrayal loss and revengeOur wild girl encounters William MacCormac a man of privilege and power the son of a influential lord and saves him Neither can forget each other and William persuades her to come live with him and names her Malmuira the dark lady of the mountains There are ominous signs and portents but the girl ignores them Naming means taming and despite the warnings of her community she gives up her freedoms to stay all for love She is treated with contempt and sneered at by others in William's household whilst rumours abound of her being a wicked witch who has bewitched the young lord William's love proves to be less than enduring This is a wondrous and mythic story that weaves a spell over the reader Highly recommended Many thanks to Orion for an ARC


  3. says:

    I have no name The travelling folk have neither name nor master When I die no stone will be laid Mo flowers will be scattered When I die I will become a thousand creatures beetles worms And so I shall travel on for ever till the End of the Worlds This is the fate of the travelling folk We would not have it otherwise Wow what a lovely little piece of literatureThis adult fairytale will break your heart build it back together and then fill it with life passion and love for nature Thanks to the pacing I loved and hated and suffered along with the bonny brown girl and the gorgeous illustrations that pepper the pages are so perfect and in tune with the tone of the story that you can't help but feel dragged in Though I think it's fair to say that its whimsical dark and gut wrenching writing is without a doubt the main characterPoetry without poetry is my favorite On Bonnie Helen Hawkins' blog you can find some of the illustrations she made for the book Give it a look Her art is extraordinary


  4. says:

    What a lovely little book I actually read it in a couple of hours one lazy Sunday morning The synopsis says it all really Based on the poem 'The Child Ballads' this is a lovely poetic piece of writing weaving folklore and nature into one beautiful piece of prose The young girl not named as naming means taming is a wild child living in the forest who finds a love token for the local lords son Taking it she then stops the boy from being trampled by his horse falling in love with him and he with her Or so she thinks Bitterly betrayed by him she sets about getting her life back and seeking revenge on all who have hurt herOne of the things I enjoyed most were the times when the girl leaves her body to go travelling in the bodies of local animals How she sees the world through their eyes whether soaring above in the sky or scuttling around the castle listening for gossip You are taken along with every step of the girls journey It really is magnificent One of my new favourites by this authorFree arc from netgalleyWordpress review scheduled for release day


  5. says:

    Every typical tale has a prince who saves the girl at the end of the story But what if the girl does not want to be saved what if the girl does not wait for the prince to be saved Yeah the charming save from everything kind of prince is tempting and sometimes you can't resist but Girls sometimes you just need to save yourselves at the end


  6. says:

    I am glad I listened to this one as the author reads it herself and if she ever wants to stop writing books she will definitely get work as an audio narrator On the other hand I think I missed out on the illustrations that accompany the printed versionThe chapters follow the months of the year with a short rhyme from the 'Child Ballads' or some old folk saying as an introduction The brown girl with no name is one of the traveling folk She can take the form of a fox a crow a hare any animal she wants and travel see experience anything she wants But then she meets William a strapping young lad from the village Falling in love makes her give up than what she gains but that’s a hard lesson she must learn on her ownIt felt like I was listening to a beautiful poem The essence of the story is one that has been done in various guises many many many many times and although the writing was lyrical and evocative I didn’t feel as if I experienced anything newIf you are going to read this only for the evocative writing then I think you will like it


  7. says:

    This book is absolutely stunning A beautifully crafted fairy tale for a new age full of whimsy charm and the most fantastical illustrations it all makes for one of the loveliest books I have ever readAmazing just amazing


  8. says:

    “My people are the wolves the hare the wild bees in the forest My people are the birch trees the roe deer and the otter My people are the travelling folk that travel on the campfire smoke and go into the fox the wolf the badger and the weasel And I am not afraid”A wonderful magical story told within the cycle of a year A tale of love betrayal revenge and rebirth Entrancing and timelessRecommended


  9. says:

    what a beautiful short story it remembered me so much of an old fairy tales like Hans Christian Andersen’s dark and hunting and will stay will you for a long time i would love too re read this in the autumn it has that feel too perfect for a october night's read


  10. says:

    This was such a joy to read The writing style and the narrator were amazing The art was beautiful This book took me to another world and made me travel into the mind and the feelings the character was feeling ⼼


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A Pocketful of Crows

REVIEW ´ SIGMAENCLOSURES.CO.UK Õ Joanne M. Harris

Seasons A Pocketful of Crows balances youth and age wisdom and passion and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless wild girlOnly love could draw her int What a lovely little book I actually read it in a couple of hours one lazy Sunday mornin

SUMMARY A Pocketful of Crows

I am as brown as brown can beAnd my eyes as black as sloe;I am as brisk as brisk can beAnd wild as forest doeThe Child Ballads 295So begins a beautiful tale of love loss and revenge Following the Generally I prefer my books to be less whimsical and involve at least some brain action

REVIEW ´ SIGMAENCLOSURES.CO.UK Õ Joanne M. Harris

O the world of named tamed things And it seems only revenge will be powerful enough to let her escapeBeautifully illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins this is a stunning and original modern fairytal “My people are the wolves the hare the wild bees in the forest My people are the birch

  • Kindle Edition
  • 240
  • A Pocketful of Crows
  • Joanne M. Harris
  • English
  • 28 January 2018
  • null