Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Secrets Whispered to Trees” by Carol Hamilton, Poet of the Month. Ms. Hamilton will also be serving as the guest judge for the Songs of Eretz Poetry Award Contest, which will run from September 1 to October 15, 2015. A detailed biography of Ms. Hamilton may be found here: http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/2015/08/songs-of-eretz-poetry-review-poet-of.html. The contest guidelines may be previewed here: http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/p/songs-of-eretz.html.
Secrets Whispered to Trees
The Irish have a story
of the king who had horse’s ears.
Such a secret must be kept, of course,
so the widow’s son
went deep into the forest
to tell it to the trees. It was a tale
too good not to be shared. Fate,
as always, took a hand.
And what would a harp sing
when formed from such a privileged tree?
We can guess the refrain,
its tune hovering above spring green
gathering places, poetry and song
and yarns spun being bedrock
of the Irish soul. Kings should
not have secrets nor horse’s ears,
but all being as it is,
listen to their golden peals of laughter.
See how hidden things take wing.
Poet’s Notes: As a former storyteller and also a lover of Ireland and the mysterious tales they tell of their land, I could not resist this story when I encountered it. And of course, is it not impossible to keep a secret once told?
Editor’s Note: As a current Irish storyteller, I was delighted by this story, which was new to me, at least in the Irish version. I was familiar with the myth of the ancient Greek King Midas (pictured), which is the same in its essentials. For more information about the truth behind the legend and the myth behind them both, visit http://irishimbasbooks.com/irish-folklore-the-truth-behind-the-king-with-horses-ears/.