In former days the Piepowder Court settled disputes between itinerant traders and their customers at markets and fairs. The word itself derives from the French pied-poudreux, meaning 'dusty footed', as travellers were likely to be, so it seemed an appropriate title for this collection of travel poems.
Most, but not all, are set in modern times. A blackbird sings on the camino in northern Spain, the moon comes up over snowy Jutland; pretty Dutch women enter a café in Tilburg; Little Blue penguins flipper out of the New Zealand surf. But you might also catch ancient human whispers among stone circles high in the Pyrenees; there's an incredulous narrative by an early mediaeval Irish monk; an old Etruscan gentleman remembers his dead wife; and a man hangs suspended in the torture chamber of the Doge's Palace in Venice.
The final piece, 'Stages' is a seven part longer poem in which voices from different historical periods open a brief window on their world. You may want to keep your own feet dry, unblistered and dust-free, but that
needn't prevent you sharing some of these travels too.
1) A bewildered child in southern France, over 10,000 years ago, tries to comprehend the death of its mother.
2) A Babylonian women of 1500 B.C.E. writes to a friend.
3) A lonely young diplomat in Han China (approximately 60 C.E.) composes poems and letters to send home to his sweetheart and his parents.
4) Two poor scholars sit talking in a Paris alehouse, in 1155 C.E.
5) A young Aztec woman in Mexico, during the 1530's, following the fall of Tenochtitlan, tries to evade the advances of a Spanish nobleman.
6) My great-great grandfather travels from nineteenth century Ireland to England in search of work as an instrument-maker.
7) there are strange stories, and all too human flights of fancy from a contemporary supermarket.
You may want to keep your own feet dry, unblistered and dust-free, but that needn't prevent you sharing some of these travels too.
The following poems are included on this CD, you can listen to a short sound bite by clicking on the icon, or view the text of the poem using the icon.
|Track Title||Sound bite||Words||The Bellman of Arqua (2.15)||Skeleton in a spanish cloister (2.55)||Merula (1.20)||Hunter's moon (0.55)||A winter night in Jutland (1.15)||Bone-pointing (2.00)||Blue-eyed blondes in blue (with bicycles) (0.40)||Mairu Baratzea (3.10)||The Castle at Arques (2.15)||Fixing Bayonne (4.30)||Eyewitness (4.04)||Little Blues (2.05)||Colmar from Les Trois Epis (1.05)||An Etruscan gentleman meditates on his wife's tomb at Sovana (3.40)||The death of St. Clare (3.25)||Between friends (2.05)||The furnaces (2.20)||The question (2.50)||Sighting (4.35)||Stages (25.00)|
Produced and recorded by Paul F. Cowlan.
PIEPOWDER POEMS 2001 Alembic 2001 02P
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