God, remembering my old Gandalf poster, pictured below, opened a floodgate of memories of my "All Things Lord of The Rings/ Fairies/Goblins/Silbury Hill/Glastonbury Tor/Avalon and Avebury Rings" phase in my late teens, which lasted, well, thinking of all the wierd naff poems, drawings and songs I've toiled over, till now really!
Even now those early years of discovery burn brightly in my mind as I first came across the worlds of that other significant JR, one JRR.Tolkein and other similar works like the fantastically-covered paperback The Worm Ouroboros [below], Ghormenghast, The Little Grey Men, Bored of the Rings, The King of Elfland's Daughter, Lord Foul's Bane, The Many Coloured Land and Dragonsong to name but a few.
Equally impressive were the artists who attempted to capture the twilight world of magic on canvas like the brilliant Patrick Woodroffe, Frank Frazzetta, the Brothers Hildebrandt, Roger Dean and Rodney Matthews. But probably more than any other work it was an art book by one Brian Froud,called Faeries, in the mid-to-late 1970's that captivated me the most. Froud's sensitive drawings and water-colours of pixies, goblins, kelpies and phookas [see below] brought the elven world completely to life and gave substance to my emerging hippy vision of a magical landscape like no other single book, probably only equalled by Lord of the Rings itself.
In many ways the words and pictures of all these authors and artists, together with the music of Progressive Rock and Folk, coalesced to form a world-view and sensibility that never left me, that Mother Earth is but a breath away, we are all Star-born and simply part of something much bigger. Probably like other readers, I'm totally of my time and feel somewhat out of synch with the current Zeitgeist I suppose. Once a hippy always a hippy and maybe our time will come again!