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Peacock Pie: A Book of Rhymes (1913)

by Walter de la Mare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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322481,731 (3.81)7
Presents a collection of poems first published in 1916 describing the capers of fairies, princes, beasts, children, witches, farmers, and kings.
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A book of poems for children? Perhaps, if written by Uncle Edgar Allen Poe to niece and nephew Wednesday and Pugsley Addams 💀

While not overtly horrific, the overall atmosphere is of melancholy, loss, death, night and febrile passion.

The opening poem, The Horseman, initially reads as a bit of nonsense nursery rhyme, but then, surely, the pale rider on his ivory horse coming over the moonlit hill can be none other than Death stalking the fitfully sleeping child.

There is an excellent illustration by Emett of the gangling Thief at Robin's Castle, who steals not only Robin's silverware, but his children, whose hands imploringly poke out of his swag bag. Raised as his own, the children "never really loved him" despite his stolen riches.

I initially thought this would be a slight set of childish rhymes, but they're ageless, dark, macabre and fey, the cumulative effect being greater than the individual poems. I loved them 🖤

Sibelius's "Valse Triste" (Sad Waltz) from his score to the drama "Kuolema" (Death) catches something of the mood:
https://youtu.be/5Ls8-pk4IS4?si=isJZxdiecsifeir_ ( )
  Michael.Rimmer | May 8, 2024 |
There are some lovely little poems in this collection by Walter de la Mare. I would say they are not 'happy happy' poems but rather wistful, thoughtul, enchanting, sometimes filled with melancholy and mystery, often deeper than they may first appear. The Truants features the children 'magic hath stolen away', Wanderers is about the movement of the planets, 'Poor Miss 7' lives lone and alone and Miss T has a strange metabolism 'whatever Miss T eats turns into Miss T'. Then there's the odd Hapless, Tired Tim and The Dunce and the mysterious 'Some one' a poem in a similar vain to my favourite Walter de la Mare poem 'The Listeners'. ( )
  AmiloFinn | Jun 14, 2015 |
A collection of poems first published in 1916 describing the capers of fairies, princes, beasts, children, witches, farmers, and kings.
  antimuzak | Apr 29, 2007 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
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» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
de la Mare, Walterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ardizzone, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brierley, LouiseIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cooney, BarbaraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emett, F. R.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, W. HeathIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Presents a collection of poems first published in 1916 describing the capers of fairies, princes, beasts, children, witches, farmers, and kings.

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