Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Lark and the Toad

Our theme today is Storybooks.

Virginia Frances Sterrett
"Blondine"
More particularly, I would like to share the beautiful old storybooks illustrated by Virginia Francis Sterrett, American artist and illustrator. At the time of her death from tuberculosis, aged 30, the following tribute was made of her work:
"She made pictures of haunting loveliness, suggesting Oriental lands she never saw and magical realms no one ever knew except in the dreams of childhood..." 
Her pictures seem to tell a story all their own.



Virginia Francis Sterrett
"Rosalie"
Old French Tales (Penn Publishing Company) is one of her best-known illustrative works. To get a feel of the book, flip through a copy online HERE. Even the chapter headings are inspirational: "The Forest of Lilacs", "The Fairy Detestable" and "The Lark and the Toad".



Virginia Francis Sterrett
"Europa and the Bull"
Sterrett illustrated two other books of tales, Tanglewood Tales (Penn Publishing Company) and her own interpretation of Arabian Nights before her death in 1931. The illustrations may be viewed HERE. All images displayed in this post are from the same source. Artsy Craftsy offers downloads of several illustrations. For this prompt, choose an illustration and write a story poem based on it. Your story may be entirely original, or in the case of well-known literary characters, a re-telling of a popular tale.





13 comments:

Cad said...

I'm kind of on a waiting list - the name Cadmus on the illustration I saw, was so similar to Caddoc, I leapt into action ... Then I realised it might take me some time to actually slay a dragon, and today I must do other things, or it will be Ada who turns into a dragon, and me who is likely to get slain.
But I will complete the task, promise.

Fireblossom said...

^^^ wtf.

I adore these illustrations, Kerry. They're gorgeous, and I'm looking forward to writing for one of them.

Margaret said...

The illustrations are stunning. I'm afraid I won't so then justice but I will do my best.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love illustrations like these. I can still clearly remember sitting on the kitchen floor as a child, while my mother cooked, an open storybook on my lap and making up my own stories for them.

hedgewitch said...

What great illustrations, Kerry--each one is a poem in itself. I am a big fan of Arthur Rackham, myself, but this lady is really unique. Will have to see what I can come up with.

Charleen said...

Wow! This was much more fun than what I had anticipated. I hope you enjoy my poem/story.

Lolamouse said...

Kerry,
These illustrations are enchanting! I will be back later to decide on one to inspire a poem.

Susan said...

Thank you for this prompt, Kerry, which gives me a new illustrator and writer. It's fun to imagine you turning the pages and making up stories. I made one for you.

Marian said...

beautiful prompt, Kerry. thank you! xo

sharplittlepencil.com said...

Kerry, you did more for my mental health (espec. PTSD) by posting this woman's work than an hour at the therapist!

I was drawn into a realm of peace, solitude, love of nature... my own breathing. Right where I should be. Bless you, darlin'! Can't wait to see which images you all chose and to read your fantastic ekphrastics! Amy

Susie Clevenger said...

I love the challenge Kerry! The illustrations are beautiful. I wrote the longest piece I have written in a while.

Shawna said...

Oh my, these are amazing. What a fantastic prompt!

Cad said...

The wonderful illustration took pride of place in my mind this morning, and the promised poetic piece took its place in the annals of history, without further ado. Hmmm... like much ado about nothing, I suppose, when you think of it?! :)