Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Goblins and Fairies

This isn't related at all to medieval cooking, but what the heck. It may not be much of a surprise, but I'm a long-time Doctor Who fan. I was watching last Saturday's episode and was surprised to catch the reference to Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market".

One of the characters in the program recited the lines ...

We must not look at goblin men
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?

... and then (as I said to myself, "That sounds like Goblin Market") the Doctor identified the author as Rossetti.

I've always thought that fairy and goblin folklore was really cool, and there are a few stories and poems I've come across that (at least in part) express what I think is at the very heart of goblinness (goblinity?). The Goblin Market is one of them. Another is William Allingham's poem "The Fairies", which starts:

Up the airy mountain
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting,
For fear of little men;

Of course this now has me wondering about medieval fairy folklore. Yet one more thing added to my "Must look into this sometime" folder.

Incidentally, the full text of Goblin Market is available free online at the Project Gutenberg website.

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