Did it start with my father's love of Star Trek?
|This guy, featured in the closing credits, used to freak me out as a kid.
He's from the classic episode, "The Corbomite Maneuver."
I won't bore you with a list of my favorite fantasy novels and authors (Diana Wynne Jones -- several of her novels have been adapted for movies by Japan's Studio Ghibli, popular with anime fans). Let's get straight to one book that tops my best reads.
|Buy a signed copy at ABE Books.
Why do I love this book so much? Like the best fantasy novels, at its heart, The Last Unicorn is about humanity. There is Schmendrick the schlubby magician, who must witness true courage before he comes into his power. And the unicorn herself, transformed for a time into a human woman, with all of humanity's foibles, needs, and mortality (unicorns are immortal).
So earlier this month I was at Otakon, a huge Japanese pop-culture convention in Baltimore with my daughter. We had just walked in with her friends, and were checking out all the cool cosplayers. (Studio Ghibli characters were popular.) Never heard of cosplay? Go here.
|From Baltimore's City Paper.
There is a full gallery of amazing
costumes at the Baltimore Sun.
|Squee! It's PETER S. BEAGLE!!!
Of course, I had to reread the novel. Its sequel, a novelette titled "Two Hearts," came out in 2005 and won both the Hugo and the Nebula award.
What does this have to do with poetry? If you've read The Last Unicorn, you know that the novel is filled with snippets of poetry and pieces of song, including portions of a long, heroic ballad glorifying the bandit Captain Cully (and written by himself).
Yes. Lucky for us, Beagle is a poet.
by Peter S. Beagle
I breathe fire,
sleep on gold.
I dine on princesses —
that’s why I’m so old.
Nothing like a princess
to chase the cold.
I breathe fire.
I am old.
I breathe fire,
Heroes come seeking me —
I’m easy to find
Young and brave and gallant,
handsome and chaste,
Praise their courage,
and their taste.
The rest of the poem, and some cool dragon art, can be found at this PDF.
I'll leave you with a clip from "The Last Unicorn," the movie. Poetry Friday is HERE, at Author Amok next week. I promise to make it all sparkly and fantastic.