The Storyteller (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Does anyone remember Jim Henson’s The Storyteller? It was a wonderful show that shared a variety of fairy tales in the first season, and then some ancient legends in the second.]

Let me tell you              of a wrinkly old gentleman

    adorned in the battered cloak given to him

                                    (or so he once said)

            by a solider returned from a long-forgotten war

A merry soul known to rest within a large

      faded                  red armchair

           close to a hearth fire

                                      strong and radiant

                   accompanied by his talkative

                                              hound companion

                       …there to regale his listeners with stories learned

                                  amid many years of travel

                                         somewhere beyond his stone-walled chamber

He told

         of an enchanted hedgehog able

                      to shed his quills each night and

                                become a man

                of a fiddle-player on a quest to tremble

                           from fear for the very first time

                      of a young woman with the ability

                             to summon a powerful white lion

                                       from her thoughts

                           ….among many other marvelous tales

                                   into which The Storyteller disappeared

                                                  with such ease        

                                       …except for rare occasions

                                                  when he made cameo appearances

                                                        and even (once)

                                                             featured as the main character

Defined by his stories

           which totaled exactly a year

                   that wove one dream

                              after another

But I will remember his story as well

               …of that remarkable old spirit

                           forever at rest and happy

                                          filled with narratives

21 thoughts on “The Storyteller (A Poem)

    1. Two seasons. The first season had one storyteller, performed by John Hurt, giving retellings of fairy tales from all over the world. Meanwhile, the second season had another storyteller (whose performer I cannot remember) wandering around a labyrinth as he tells various ancient myths, mostly from Greece.

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      1. If i m not mistaken… i did recalled The Storyteller when I was a child. Wayy back in in 1998-1999. It was on TV one episode every Sat evening at 5PM. But I could’nt watch it. I was sent to extra classes by my parents. I only managed to watch Rapunzel & Cinderella. Oh well, might as well and search this seasons up and watch!

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    1. I think it was just lucky that I got to see it as well, growing up. And, in another lucky stroke, I happened to find the DVD box set for the complete series at a grocery store (amazingly).

      I would definitely recommend watching it. Jim Henson’s The Storyteller deserves more attention.

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    1. I’m glad to have gotten even a bit of his enchantment across to you. This poem is mostly based on the storyteller, played by John Hurt, from the first season of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller–who tended to concentrate on retelling fairy tales from different parts of the world. If you’re ever able to find the series online, I’d definitely recommend watching it. ^_^

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