Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Our sister imprint, Stacey International, occasionally publishes poetry and fiction and an interesting new title in the former category has just been announced for May 2011.

Treading the Dance is a beautiful, bilingual, illustrated collection of medieval Danish folk ballads, in which the English reader will discover many ideas, images and themes familiar from British folk song and literature, including desperate lovers, magical animals and bloodthirsty nobles. The Danish ballads are important because they show us key aspects of the Northern European sensibility in a vernacular style and were the first European ballads to be collected and written down.

Over the centuries, the ballads have inspired songwriters, poets and playwrights, served the needs of World War II resistance fighters and even formed the basis for a radio jingle.

For the Romantic poets in both Denmark and England, the revived interest in the ballads sprang from their ability in both style and content to produce a powerful narrative drama that taps into fundamental aspects of human experience.

Here's a snippet:

From The Maiden in Birdskin

He cut the flesh out of his chest
And hung it on the tree,
She spread her wings and down she flew
Great was her grief to see.

But when the little nightingale
Pecked at the bloody meat,
She changed into the fairest maid
That you could ever greet.


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