ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My thoughts on Desmond Hawkins, Across The Vale Of Avalon To Glastonbury.

Updated on September 15, 2012
Avalon Bridge
Avalon Bridge | Source
King Arthur, Merlin and The Lady Of The Lake.
King Arthur, Merlin and The Lady Of The Lake.

The Vale Of Avalon To Glastonbury tells of the closure of a much loved rail line, and how the population of Glastonbury have learned to make a living from tourists who visit the area, some in search of landmarks from the days of King Arthur and his knights of the round table.

The piece really plays on the magical, mystical draw in the area by using the concept of Christmas from a child's perspective "as a childlike toyland experience. You almost expected Father Christmas driving the engine". Father Christmas, in a child's eyes is the epitome of magic. Nothing could be more special, more magical and more exciting.

Threaded within the piece there are also a number of references to "The mighty legends" of King Arthur and his knights, from my far from vast knowledge of King Arthur i know that there was a lot of magic and myths in those days, dragons, witches, the great wizard Merlin.

People visiting the area are bound to have some knowledge of its past, and this combined with the fantastically eerie scenery "The curiously formal triangular outline of the hill, with its ruined chapel on top" all adds to the area's "supernatural character".

Hawkins appears to be in complete awe of both the Vale of Avalon and Glastonbury itself. He writes with such excitement, you can well believe that in this piece he is reminiscing his own childhood experiences, especially when he talks of the train, he tells of how it felt to be on the train "as a childlike toyland experience", to know of the feeling he must have had the experience personally.

Hawkins also displays a growing sadness at the demise of the train line he "genuinely mourned as the loss of one of life's minor pleasures". I don't think that Hawkins believed the line to be minor as in not very relevant, rather that it was nothing big and flashy like Disneyland or Alton Towers, but just as pleasurable.

The author appears to really appreciate the wild ruggedness of the vale, detailing readily the great expanse of the area "The wooded slopes of the Poldens, ribboned with quiet waters" and "dense mysterious thickets of the primitive waste, a jungle of scrub and alder". Hawkins enhances his description of the Vale by using a selection of mathematical terms to demonstrate  harsh the area could be, words like triangular, proportion, horizontal and geometrically and "so symmetrical it seems unnatural".

Hawkins has an appreciation, not just for the landscape, but also the inhabitants of Glastonbury. "I sympathise with the people of Glastonbury". Tourists to the area want the town to be kept as it was, in the days of King Arthur maybe? The tourists can't appreciate that people have the right to live comfortably, even in Glastonbury. "They must be weary of being told that their modern brick villas look shoddy by modern standards".

I think Hawkins is right when he states "so majestic a past can be a great burden to those who inhabit the present". I must admit that the style of some of the buildings in the area do not add to the aesthetic value, but when i visited, or rather drove through the area, if I'm honest was more interested in looking at the landscape than criticizing the buildings.

 

Glastonbury Tor
Glastonbury Tor

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)