Set in the late Palaeolithic, writer, musician and filmmaker, Richard Skelton creates an ancient landscape in his new collection of poetry, Stranger in the Mask of a Deer, ethereal and dreamlike prose that brings to life this ancient and primitive world of our ancestors.
Stranger in the Mask of a Deer is a very unique collection, not only immersing itself and regenerating the past but also being set in a specific epoch Skelton creates a narrative for these people, not only as hunter-gathers, not only as our ancestors but also as families and communities themselves, with their own culture, dreams and traditions which, very much, brings them to life within the pages. Skelton’s use of a ‘primitive’ style exemplifies that this is a book very deeply set in the past, about the past for the modern reader. Many other poets have written about the past albeit mostly written in the style of the time. The primitiveness of Stranger in the Mask of a Deer is what sets this collection apart from the rest to truly stand as a singular and unique piece of work.
Prehistoric studies have taken on new devotees to its study over the past few decades, with figures such as Aubrey Burl, T.C. Lethbridge and Julian Cope bringing our prehistoric selves who migrated to this island into the public eye Stranger in the Mask of a Deer is a wonderful accompaniment to the studies where we can attempt to capture the spirit of the people who lived in those times, helping the reader to experience a part of their lives and experiences.
Although Stranger in the Mask of a Deer is prehistoric in its nature and style, it is also a very modern piece of work, casting aside the more classical styles of Kipling or Pope and embracing a more ethereal and musical style that commingle to create a new and vibrant narrative.
- Stranger in the Mask of a Deer by Richard Skelton is published by Penned in the Margins (£9.99). To order a copy go to www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk
Founder and Editor of Pilgrim House, currently undertaking a research degree at Bangor University and working on a book on Folklore and early Welsh Christianity. Tom’s other work on music, poetry, health along other writings and images can be found at tomasstanger.com