A Storytold is a Story Kept

Storytold! I know. I Know! It’s is a completely made up word. I just invented it! But I like it. It is defined as a story kept. But its very old. It seems to want to be a noun as well as an adjective and adverb. A night could possibly be storytold. As a word, it seems to want to declare itself a republic! And it has a life independent of the storyteller. Humour my whimsy this Imbolc morning, please!

With the St. Brigid’s Day and Imbolc celebrations upon us, we are awash with folklore and stories this time of year. In Ireland, the storykeeper is the seanachaí (approximately pronounced shan-a-key). I have awakened this cross quarter day of Imbolc, when we are exactly halfway between winter solstice and vernal equinox to dreary sky, rain and a thaw. I hope the old wisdom that foretells a shortened winter is true. The Cailleach would certainly want to stay in on a morning like this and leave off collecting her firewood.

Incidentally, the Cailleach is completely storytold. As is myth and all tales that inspire wonder and awe. I doubt it will catch on and may appal grammarians, but it has a ring about it that tickles me.

So Poetry Daily celebrates story today. Which was, as likely as not, told by the hearth, with people warming themselves twice – with words and firelight.


Never let the hearth
grow cold.
If you let the fire
go out
ye'll not make old bones.

Tend the flame inside.
Be bold.
Let it animate.
Go out.
Treasure its old soul.

Fire purifies.
It holds
power and insight.
Go out.
It's magic foretold.

Tend the flame inside.
It's cold.
Watch! Scry its stories.
Go out!
Leave no tales untold.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Featured Photo by Fabian Grohs on Unsplash