Run Run Ever (After George MacDonald’s “No End of No-Story”)
The first thing I ever read by George MacDonald was his most dreamy children’s novel, At the Back of the North Wind, a book which compelled me as much as it mystified me. I remember vividly the moment that I encountered the poem, sometimes entitled “No End of No-Story”, which appears in the novel – a strange, lullaby-like song which the main character, Diamond, heard on one of his journeys to the back of the North Wind. It is not perhaps one of MacDonald’s finest poems, yet it had a powerful effect on me when I first read it, and so I have tried to create some of that same effect with my own poem here. Run Run Ever (After “No End of No-Story”) “It’s such nonsense!” said his mother. “I believe it would go on for ever.” “That’s just what it did,” said Diamond. “What did?” she asked. “Why, the river. That’s almost the very tune it used to sing.” (George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind) When we tired ones reach the river we will sit by its soft streams and see the city it makes glad with all its streams and all its flowing, see the city, see the lamb whose light is now the light of living, and we will not mourn for dying or wish we were back in shadows but, once dreaming, we now wake to find the brightest morning where our dreams prove pale and dying and our doubts are swept a- side in days of brightness by this ever- running river
5 thoughts on “Run Run Ever (After George MacDonald’s “No End of No-Story”)”
After reading McDonald’s poem, which really did seem to flow on forever like a river, I wondered what you would come up with. And was delighted. This is a truly beautiful poem. I will mark it as a favorite so that I can read it often. Well done, sir!!!
Thankyou! There is certainly something beautifully fluid about the original poem. I’m glad you liked my response to it.
I just downloaded C.S. Lewis’ biography of MacDonald and read through the introduction last night. Lewis considered MacDonald rather second-rate from a literary critical perspective, but revered him as the greatest “myth-maker” perhaps of all time. I’m looking forward to reading more of it.
Will be interested to hear your thoughts. CSL was a bit hard on MacDonald, who was actually a more subtle and complex writer than often gets acknowledged. But his strength was certainly in his use of imagery and myth.
I loved At the back of the north wind too, and love your poem, thank you!