Main content

Poet Lila Matsumoto was born in Japan but has made the Midlands her home. In the final essay, she takes us to Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire, to watch the ancient Horn Dance.

In this series of Essays, we usher you into a secret world of hidden folklore. Five young writers explore the odder, darker corners of English tradition: this is not an England of bluetits, roses and white cliffs, nor of country lanes and thatched cottages, but an invitation into a compendium of bizarre and sometimes creepy rural rituals.

Each writer lives or has lived in the area. Their impression of the event stirs childhood memories, fires new convictions, deepens an understanding of ritual and reveals the awkward transposition of ancient ceremonies in contemporary life. In the final essay, the Japanese poet Lila Matsumoto takes her visiting parents to a Staffordshire horn dance.

This series attempts to hear younger witnesses writing for the times in which we live: dispatches on Englishness from the weird frontline.

5. Horn Dance

Poet Lila Matsumoto was born in Japan but has made the Midlands her home. In the final essay, she takes her visiting parents to Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire, to watch the ancient Horn Dance. A group of local men carry stags’ horns on their heads, dancing through the village and the surrounding countryside. As Lila watches with her Japanese parents she explores the meaning of home, and what it feels like to be cast as an outsider in this weird England.

Available now

14 minutes

Last on

Fri 21 Dec 2018 22:45

Broadcast

  • Fri 21 Dec 2018 22:45

Featured in...

Watch: My Deaf World

Watch: My Deaf World

Five compelling experiences of what it is like to be deaf in 21st-century Britain.

The Book that Changed Me

The Book that Changed Me

Five figures from the arts and science introduce books that changed their lives and work.

Download The Essay

Download The Essay

Download all the episodes from the series and listen at your leisure.

Podcast