Warrior poets, shape-shifters and other unlikely characters: a year of reading aloud

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Woodrot Padcost 47: books read aloud in 2013 [MP3, 25 MB]
Duration: 27:50

‘Tis the season for literary bloggers to write about the best things they read this year. But in my case, much of my most interesting reading is out loud, in nightly Skype calls with Rachel Rawlins. Usually I’m the reader, but sometimes she is able to get an electronic version of whatever it is we’re reading and we take turns. I thought it might be fun to record us talking about what we liked and didn’t like this year (though Rachel had her doubts that anyone else would care). Here are the main books we talked about:

Other books mentioned in passing:

Bjorn and Bera

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall
This entry is part 3 of 12 in the series Bear Medicine

 

She thought she recognized in the bear the eyes of Bjorn, the king’s son, and so she did not try to run away. —The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki (trans. by Jesse Byock)

From palace to cave: one wound closes & another gapes. It turns out the king’s cattle are horned marauders, a scourge on the land. I cut them open & find shredded leaves, aborted destinies. But when the sun goes down the trees stretch, reclaiming the crofts, & I return to my mountain & to you.

When you saw me bloody in the pens, your fear was only that I would leave you among those bewitched creatures shaped through the ages by human hungers. Here, our desire is like water from a glacier, white with the milk of stones. We remember who we were before furs & fabrics, even before they gave us names & trajectories.

I can get more naked than any other beast. Tomorrow I will lie down in a circle of hunters & let them try to find me in that mountain of flesh. Only your hand slipping under my shoulder will recover the gold ring that, in another story, might’ve pierced my septum. From our union will come wild hunters of men.