Now that I can comment again. I already told Ashe in a note about my story with the Erl-king. But maybe someone else wants to read it. (Yeah. Right. Delusions of importance. )
OK. So I worked as a librarian/IT in a Hungarian community center for a time. That place held an annual poetry recitation competition (those are a thing in Hungary) they were angsty and boring and generally something I could really live without, but my ex-boss downright loved them. Now one participant in the first I had the misfortune to witness chose this poem... oh yeah... the competition was held for school children so the boy reciting it was 10 or so years old. My brain went for the mundane interpretation as a reflex... at that day anything else would be way too much.
Wow, this... this is awesome. Especially the expressions in the last few panels. I actually got a chill.
(and, since I have an anti-drama circuit built into my brain and thought of this immediately: there's a parody version of this (one of many), where the last lines go: "Erreicht den Hof mit Mühe und Not/Das Kind das lebt/Das Pferd ist tot.")
First time I ever saw this poem was in an English translation in a literature book that belonged to one of my uncles---circa 1940s or early 1950s. Just the poem and a woodcut of the father riding with the child clutched to his chest . . .
And then you see the figure of the Erl-King in the background, and he is HUGE. LOOMING. Not at all clear-cut, just a suggestion of pale eyes and a crown and an outstretched hand, but once I spotted him my reaction was basically, "GAHHHHH!" That thrill and cold feeling has been part of my gold standard for (pleasurable) horror ever since.
And I'm having that thrill and cold feeling right now.
Beautiful! Wonderful! (This makes me so afraid and excited for the new arc! Conflicting, I know. Sorry.) But now I wonder, did this truly happen to the Erlkoenig and Goethe heard about it (and wrote it down)? Or did this happen to the Erlkoenkig because Goethe wrote it? (The latter leads me to think that this is when the Erlkoenig starts to rebel against the boundaries a story can have. And since the child looks so much look Jareth (and seems to be around the same age -comparatively so, that is), the Erlkoenig could have started plotting for him after this occurance. He does look so suprised by the blood on his hand!) A side note: right above the Erlkoenig hand there looks to be a faint outline of the crystal balls Jareth uses, was this intentional? (I'm sorry for the long comment; it got away from me.)
This brought tears to my eyes. It's so beautifully done. I guess we know where Jareth got the baby napping tendencies from. But this pierced my heart. I truly believe that he wasn't trying to kill the child. Maybe he wanted a son.
He looks.. Surprised to have killed the child? Hm... Not at all what I thought up when I read the poem. I mean, the kid did die of course, but I always thought of it as the kid was bewitched by the Erlking and was happy to die. A very interesting interpretation. Top notch as always
I remember having to memorize and recite this poem in front of the class for German III. It was fun to hear how the individual interpreted the voices for each part. One guy did an amazing growling voice for the "evil Erlkonig" I loved going through this again! Thanks!