WRITING STYLES: ‘Redwing’

Redwing, a drama in six acts and nine scenes was written in 1915 and published in serial form in Patience Worth’s Magazine starting in September 1917.  According to Casper Yost “the time seems to be medieval and the ‘atmosphere’ is English but the land is an imaginary one.”  Although the language is somewhat different, the style could be compared to the style used in ‘Telka  which according to Casper Yost was immediately begun after Patience had finished Redwing.  This may explain its similarity.  Telka however was not published until 1928.

It’s mind-blowing to think that Redwing was written by Pearl Curran, dictated one letter at a time through the Ouija board and that the experience of Pearl Curran was one of living in Texas and Missouri in  20th century United States of America and not in medieval England.  On the other hand, Patience Worth may have been quite familiar with medieval England.  Does this play look like it came from the subconscious mind of Pearl Curran? Could it have come from a dissociated personality of Pearl Curran?

Redwing-Marraige

ACT V Prologue
(Easter Morn)

The earth did wake with boughs a-burst.
A deadened apple twig doth blush
At casting Winter’s furry coat,
To find her naked blooms a-bath in sun.
The feathered hosts, a-tuned,
Do carol, “He hath risen!”
E’en the crow with envy trieth melody
And soundeth as a brass,
And, listening, loveth much his song.
Young grasses send sweet-scented damp
Through the hours of risen day.
The bell, a-toll, doth bid the village hence.
E’en paths a-traced through velvet fields
Hath flowered with fringing bloom
And jeweled drops, a-tempting tarryers.
The sweet o’sleep doth grace each venturing face.
The kine stand knee depth
Within the silly-tittered brook,
Or deep in bog a-wallow.
Soft breath ascent and lazy-eyed,
They wait them for the stripping-maid.
Aslip and shuffle cometh Anne
Adown the castle lane, and Dougal
Snappeth daisy crowns with lash.

Scene I

Anne:  “Where goest thou, Dougal?  ‘Tis early barter for late gain!”

Dougal:  “Yea, Anne, but he who putteth price at early hour doth make purchase, truly.  I put a pence to a mug o’ foam-broth, that I do bag a game.”

Anne:  “I’ll take ye, lad!  Hath Ermaline arisen at this hour?”

Dougal:  “Nay, the hour to wed be late, though Charlie craved the high of noon.  He rose, at cracking of the night-shell, to slip his hose and scent his locks.  I played at peep, and Anne, he danced about and curtseyed like a maid.  He hath squinted at his blade till mist hath rusted it!”

Anne:  “Dougal, spare the morn!  But, gad, let me say more!  Hath thee e’er cast an eye upon his hand?  He hideth it ‘mid ruff and weareth seal aback his finger joint.”

Dougal:  “What Anne!  Thy tung shalt hang thee with its length.  But swear ’tis so, and jug thy wine from spilling.”

Anne:  “Tis so, I pledge.  Here, sup the broth; it steameth.  And smell the meadow grass; ’tis a fine fuel for the day.  Dougal, I fear to chatter more, but since the morning cheek hath blushed, a riding host, whose hoof-clatter reacheth far, hath ridden on our lands.  My man did ride upon a mailed score.  Think ye we need have fear?”

Dougal:  “Yea, we need be sorry should they not ride highway.  Do we not take toll?”

Anne:   “Welladay!  I fetch me to the castle. The stripping-maid hath left a drop to besel, and, thou dost know, ’tis havoc to the kine.  I’ve fetched me here to pull them dry.  And Lad, the pudding I did build and sunk the seal therein.  There be a smoke a-fan.  The troubadour, by taper light did climb by cord adown the castle wall;  Think ye he roamed to pipe?”

Dougal:  “Did I not tell thee to jug thy wine, Anne?”  We’ll track us to the castle and set the dreariness a-pulse.  I’ve stolen from the troubadour his pipe and fain would twiddle ‘neath his Grace’s lattice there!”

Anne:  “He’ll pelt with blooms thy pate!”

Dougal:  I’d fain cast a cow’s dung at his mouthing Highness!”

Anne:  “Go, thou breeder of filth!  I hate thy tung; ’tis unfitting thee!  I do see the sleep-hung guards a-stretch and flesh whinnieth for grain.  Aha!  Didst ye see a red cape a-flutter past the shelter-barn!  He cometh unaload.  I swear he took a pack at going!”

Dougal: “Thy wine a-leak again, then, Anne!”

Anne: “Go, else I do pop its stop!”

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