Marc Latham has proudly provided the foreword for the third in Wendy Webb’s epic Mermaid’s Tales series of narrative poetry books. The book also contains several poems from other poets featured on this site, including Caroline Gill, Claire Knight and a palindrome by Norman Bissett.
Parts of the series are also being serialised in the Tips for Writers and etips magazines, which have been very supportive of this site and provided a home for many Folding Mirror poems. Etips is sent once a month to those who sign up for it.
Details of all the above are available from the Norfolk Poets website.
Here is Marc Latham’s foreword:
The Mermaid’s Mother and Sycorax is the third instalment in Wendy Webb’s epic mermaid series. It was inspired by Shakespeare‘s Tempest, but those who know Wendy‘s style will not be surprised to find themselves quickly transported into myth and the modern world from line to line.
Examples of this include Miss Muffet finding herself brought out from nursery rhyme and into the stark reality of the modern world within a broken home family on social care. And the Lost Boys of Hollywood fiction fame is later connected to Shakespeare‘s Sycorax through memory.
Apart from the clever connections and switches between time and space, and myth and reality there are also many lines that please just through their deliciousness. An early example of this appears in the third quatrain:
a valley‘s tears to reap a sickle moon
of cannibals and moon-calves fate has spooned.‘
For the reader, Mermaid’s Mother and Sycorax therefore combines the pleasures of a wondrous narrative with a tough mental workout, inspiring the reader to re-read the text and research all the ingredients scattered throughout the fifty-nine quatrains. I soon found myself looking up the story of The Tempest, and the Mermaid played a part in the birth of two poems. With uncanny timing, the new Pendulum album, Immersion, has a cover with a scene that could have been on the front of one of the Mermaid poems.
This poem is another example of quality thought provoking work by a poet who has shown her phenomenal productivity coupled with a wealth of knowledge to bring together so many poems and publications over the years. Several poems by other skilful poets after Wendy‘s work are the icing on the cake.