Dr Niamh's Plum Tree Creative Community

Who is on the plum tree?

Editor’s Corner: 101.16

Great new Editor’s Corner from Shawn MacKenzie. Growing up, I was so influenced by the Anglo-Irish writers, Joyce’s spirit still pervaded Dublin, which was caught in a time-warp. Would-be poetic earnest young men wrote poems to women as par for the course of seduction. Poets made eloquent speeches in pubs, as part of the craic and were as belligerent as possible in their Joycean hats and glasses. The Catholic intellectual angst over sex was raunchy and rude – as Irish men were still mother dominated and desperate for a ‘bit!’ I think they sought sexual liberation through words alone. Some made it as far as the guilty grope but women were animals, unfathomable creatures fey, witches/bitches/virgin mothers/whores that haunted Irish men and always eluded understanding. To this we owe Joyce’s stream of consciousness in the form of Molly Bloom’s speech.

MacKENZIE's Dragon's Nest

Scribe smallDangling Our Toes in the Stream of Consciousness

I love flowers Id love to have the whole place swimming in roses God of heaven theres nothing like nature the wild mountains then the sea and waves rushing then the beautiful country with the fields of oats and wheat and all kinds of things and all the fine cattle going about that would do your heart good to see rivers and lakes and flowers all sorts of shapes and smells and colours…

So, I picked up Ulysses the other day – as one is wont to do – and dove into the roiling river which is Molly Bloom’s beautifully, rudely fecund tale at book’s end. With my mind groping towards a subject for today, I read not only for the jaw-dropping poetry of the words tumbling across the page, but also for their precise, artful construction.

james-joycecollageAfter last week’s discussion of…

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamh.co.uk

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