This week's tune is "Little Lion Man" by Mumford & Sons. The band, which consists of four musicians from West London, was formed in December 2007 and released their first album, Sigh No More, earlier this year. It's a terrific debut -- particularly if you're a fan of folk-inspired bands like The Decemberists.
You can also see a video of Marcus Mumford performing with last week's song-of-the-day musician, Laura Marling, here; and there's a live performance of "White Blank Page" here. For more information, and to hear more of their music, visit the Mumfords & Sons website and blog.
. . . is "The Girl Without Hands" by Debra Nystrom, from the Spring 2002 issue of The Virginia Quarterly Review. The poem is based on the Grimm's fairy tale of the same title, and -- unusually -- looks at this classic story from a parent's point of view.
I also highly recommend Midori Snyder's web article on the history of Handless & Armless Maiden folk tales, if you haven't read it already. At the end of the piece you'll find links to other poems that use the Handless Maiden motif.
The paintings above are "The Handless Maiden" and "Communion" by Jeanie Tomanek, one of my very favorite contemporary painters. You can see more of her exquisite work on her website and in the Endicott gallery.
1. Welsh artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins has posted a fabulous new series of mythic maquettes (pictured above) among the other treasures on his website. And there's an in-depth interview with Clive on the Zoe in Wonderland blog. (With thanks to Midori Snyder for the link.)
So very beautiful this time of year. Above: a picture taken from the slope of our back yard, looking over the rooftops to the hills beyond, where the bracken has turned from green to rust. Below: more autumn color. All three photos were snapped very early this morning, which is my favorite time of day - that quiet hour shared only with the birds and Tilly before heading off to my office and my work....
Here's a Quote for the Day, from Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved and other children's classics. It comes from Gates of Excellence: On Reading and Writing Books for Children, which I highly recommend:
"If we marvel at the artist who has written a great book, we must marvel more at those people whose lives are works of art and who don't even know it, who wouldn't believe it if they were told. However hard work good writing may be, it is easier than good living."
More on "life in Devon" can be found on the blogs of two other artists in the neighborhood, Rima Staines and Danielle Barlow -- both of whom know a thing or two about creating lives that are works of art.