On the 18th of October 2021, we launched our new online literary blog, The Maker.
Throughout the week, 9 fantastic writers responded creatively to the theme ‘Eden,’ inspired by Charles Causley’s poem, ‘Eden Rock.’ Beginning with Ella Fincken, the classical story of Eve’s betrayal and subsequent fall was reimagined in the modern context of cheating. Writing from Adam’s point of view, Ella’s text sought to absolve Eve of the guilt that has dominated the narrative of the Fall of Man.
Moving on to ‘The Rocks at Eden,’ Vicky Kendall Weiss explored themes that are integral to Charles Causley’s ‘Eden Rock,’ — loss, memory and joy. In their poem, the tragedy is not the finality of life ending, but instead the infinite monotony of life’s extension. Immortality is framed as the prime curse of an all-powerful man who refuses to move on from his prior memories and mistakes.
Next up was Jemima Stratton’s ‘Eden’s Gold,’ a poem about youthful ignorance and realisation when on the cusp of growing up. Inspired by both Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited and Robert Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay, Jemima’s paradise (or Eden) never lasts and so it must be savoured, because all good things must come to an end. The text underpinned the fear of letting go of one’s youth and coming of age.
Ieuan Holt’s ‘Mors Terrea’ shifted focus to the environment. His story presented the ultimate anti-eden — the salt plains of a post nuclear event earth — in which the character Long Thing dwells sat in a rocking chair. This interpretation of our monthly theme explored Long Thing’s internal battle with the physical pain caused by its aversion to duty and the voices of a human past that haunt the recesses of its mind.
Turning to Charlotte Clausen’s ‘Our Eden,’ Eden was interpreted again in relation to loss, as a painter who is diagnosed with eye cancer grieves the death of their partner. As their final days on earth draw near, they attempt to paint their final vision — an Eden for them and their partner. The poem explores themes of grief, religion, same-sex love and marginalization, with ‘Eden,’ concluding as a restful end for the speaker and a place of freedom and love.
Alexander Crofts’ poem, ‘Paradise,’ illustrated another darker view of Eden that was characterised by ambiguity. This darkness lead into Harry Collins’ ‘New Eden,’ which explored the relationship between humans and the planet, and the class divide. The poem drew from elements of Charles Causley’s original poem, featuring characters that are stuck in a certain point in time.
Our Saturday post, Jane Spurr’s ‘Happy Songs,’ explored a longing to return to the past, inspired by an edenic environment of clear skies, golden-lit fields and muddy lanes. The poem captured the paradise of childhood through comforting images of exploration, imagination and song.
Our launch week concluded with Mercedes Mayes’ ‘Too Much, Too Late,’ a short story that explored an Eden lost. Looking back on key experiences that took place near her beloved ponds, the speaker’s environment changes as she does, and explores the parallels between personal relationships and nature.
All of our Eden publications are up on our blog, so be sure to check them out if you haven’t already. Stay tuned via our website and social media for our next round of publications at the end of November.