The Lark Ascending
A Peculiar Parish Edition by George Meredith & J.G. Folivéli
16 pages, with silver foil Green Man logo on the cover and black-and-white illustrations throughout
He rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain of sound . . .
So begins “The Lark Ascending,” George Meredith’s triumphal ode to the skylark’s song, the bucolic English countryside, and the restless strength of the human spirit. Over the course of 122 breathless, shimmering lines, the poem traces the soaring arc of the dawn bird’s flight. Those whose eyes follow its aerial path feel their hearts rise with it, ever higher.
Written in 1881, Meredith’s poem takes inspiration from Shelley’s “Ode to a Skylark” and in turn inspired Ralph Vaughan Williams’ violin masterpiece of 1921. One century on, our Peculiar Parish Edition is offered in humble commemoration of the “silver chain” of influence wrought by the best of the arts.
George Meredith (1828–1909) was an English novelist and poet. Nominated seven times for the Nobel Prize in Literature, he was in his lifetime called “the dean of English writers” and “the last great Victorian.” Shortly after his death, the Times Literary Supplement observed that Meredith’s mind was “so rich, so full, that one wonders where there is another mind so rich, outside Shakespeare, in English literature.”
J.G. Folivéli is a comics author and illustrator. Her art explores themes of ambiguity and transformation as seen in the works of such artists as William Blake, Jean Cocteau, and Leonor Fini. After studying in Liège at ESA Saint-Luc and earning a master’s degree in comics from the city’s Académie des Beaux-Arts, Folivéli currently lives in Toulouse, France.
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