Today’s prompts were inspired in part by a series of poems featuring Guinevere’s Camelot, published in November Butterfly (Saddle Road Press, 2014) and specifically by the poem Mordred’s Dream (originally published by Poetry Flash). While the Section II poems speak primarily from Guinevere’s point of view, we also hear from Mordred, Arthur and Lancelot.
In Mordred’s Dream, upon on waking from his night-time dream, Mordred addresses his mother Morgause. There are a number of versions for Mordred’s lineage, but in Malory’s version (and the version Mordred’s Dream is based upon) Arthur sleeps with his half-sister Morgause to sire Mordred. Arthur later orders all children born on that fateful day set adrift. Though the ship Mordred is forced to sail in wrecks, he survives.
- Imagine you are Mordred, set adrift. Tell the story of his interaction with the other children born on that day. Or write the story or poem of surviving the shipwreck.
- Read Mordred’s Dream (Poetry Flash). In the poem, Mordred questions his mother’s request to go after Guinevere, to bid for the throne. Write a response to this poem in which Morgause responds to her son’s refusal.
- The video for Mordred’s Dream may be viewed here: the photo poem montage; artists included in this montage: on flute, Lori O’Hara performing the music of Telemann. Voice of Ben Greenberg. Studio recording by Michael Greenberg. Includes artwork, in order of appearance, by Orion James, Charles Wallis, June Schwarcz, Margaret Dorfman, and Paul Beattie. Use the still from the movie at the top of this post as a starting point. What do you see inside of the tree? Speak as Mordred addressing what he sees in the tree.
- Or answer in poem or story or reverie Mordred’s question in the poem: Were I to be mortally wounded, would Avalon’s ferry halt for me?
Write for at least twenty minutes without censor and share your exercise or any thoughts about your writing process in comments below. Or add links for us to visit along any topic line inspired by the exercise.
*Mordred’s Dream, the poetry movie, along with The Corridor, Guinevere, Amelia, Thumbelina, and She Dressed in a Hurry, Lady Di will be screened at the Guerneville Public Library, 14107 Armstrong Woods Rd. Guerneville, California this coming Wednesday, October 14 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Robyn Beattie will read the poems, show the movies, and discuss her images and field questions regarding her photography process.
Scholarly Arthurian Resources at The Camelot Project, A Robbins Library Digital Project
Interviews with Authors of Modern Arthurian Literature conducted by Raymond H. Thompson (including interviews with Margaret Atwood, Mary Stewart, Rosemary Sutcliffe, Nikolai Tolstoy, Jane Yolen, and more).
Mordred, A Fragment by Edward Arlington Robinson
Process Notes on making the poetry movie, Mordred’s Dream:Big Honor for Russian River Girl: Mordred’s Dream Live at Poetry Flash