For today’s post, I have decided that I would go over one of my favorite poems yet again. That’s right, I am doing another post about La Belle Dame Sans Merci! Today I will be focusing on the Leanan Sidhe and how she is interpreted in this poem.
I have long attested that I believe the specific species of Faery woman in this poem is a Leanan Sidhe. This Faery is often also referred to as the Faery Lover. The main powers of the Leanan Sidhe include being able to act as a muse to artists and poets. The fact that John Keats would have been inspired by a type of Faery woman that is known to be attracted to poets makes the utmost sense! That is what led to my writing of my latest short story about Keats falling in love with a Leanan Sidhe and running off to Faeryland with her.
Leanan Sidhe are known to use their inspiration abilities by having sexual trysts with their lovers. I adore the idea that a sexual liaison is what inspired the great works of art and poetry throughout the ages, as this is rooted in reality also. In the Rock and Roll scene of the 1960s and 1970s, we see sexual escapades between Groupies and Rock Stars leading to inspiration in songs. That is why I often refer to Leanan Sidhe as having a Rock Muse nature to them!
Keats seems to be at once beguiled and scared of his Faery Child in this poem. This seems to be a logical way to feel about the Leanan Sidhe, as they are known to leave their lovers to whither away from longing when they tire of the affair, or begin to miss their homeland in Faery! The idea of the Faery woman leaving the Knight to waste away from longing for her after the end of their affair is exactly what we see in the tales of the Leanan Sidhe. I find that there is no question as to what species of Faery was featured in John Keats’s La Belle Dame Sans Merci.
I hope that you have enjoyed this short post analyzing one of my favorite poems. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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- La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats
I loved this post exploring the link between Leanan Sidhe and the faerie in La Belle Dame Sans Marci. I thought myself that Leanan Sidhe was very similar in character and included a reference to the poem in the first draft of my novel, ‘The Kraken’s Prisoners’ which features Leanan Sidhe.
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That’s great! I find the Leanan Sidhe to be a fascinating species of Faery, so exploring her link to one of my all-time favorite poems came naturally!