Linda Studley

Can't Put the Pen Down…

Shelide’s Gift – The Back Story

Geoff Ford's excerpt of 'Shelide's Gift'

Geoff Ford's calligraphic artwork of an excerpt of "Shelide's Gift"

I don’t usually play favourites with my songs or my poems, but I have to admit to a soft spot for “Shelide’s Gift”. Shelide is (or at least I am told so by the translator) Gaelic for ‘snail’, and my Shelide is a mythical winged snail who brings light to Earth. I’d like to point to some high and noble origins for this poem but it actually sprang from a spirited evening of laughter and conversation with friends; a bottle or two of wine figured fairly prominently into the mix as well.
Another of the things I enjoy doing is drawing fantasy scenes. letting all those bizarre things out of my head and afixing them to the paper. I was challenged to draw a winged snail. I accepted. The hours spent over the detail of the drawing ‘Shelide’s Gift’, allowed me to muse over her story. The story turned into a poem. I don’t usually sell my original drawings, but my friend was so pleased with the drawing I couldn’t refuse her. The original now resides in a private collection in Chetwynd.
But Shelide’s notoriety didn’t end there. I am a memeber of a website for artists and photographers and I posted my drawing of Shelide there and, because I thought it might be of interest to the viewers, I posted the poem too. I was contacted by someone over in the calligraphy forum who asked if I would let them use “Shelide’s Gift” as a calligraphy challenge. The upshot of that is that I met Geoff Ford, an amazing artist and calligrapher in Australia, who created a gorgeous calligraphic painting of an excerpt of “Shelide’s Gift”. He even sent me the original with permission to reproduce it. Thanks Geoff.
So in the next post I’ll include the poem “Shelide’s Gift” and the drawing ‘Shelide’s Gift’. But the image you see here today is Geoff Ford’s creation.

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