Artist behind the lion:
Alain Pouillet (French painter).
Bonnie at Words From A Wordsmith.
Bonnie Jacobs is the woman behind this blog, which is run in conjunction with a sister site: Bonnie's Books. This 67-year-old lives in Tennessee in the US and is obviously someone passionate about books and writing. Her sites, which appear to have been launched only five or six months ago, are teeming with wonderful titbits on the craft. The writing is warm and elegant.
Poem or piece of prose inspired by the lion:
I am lion, hear me roar
about things too big to ignore
'cause I'm tired of all the governmental lyin';
the whole world is going mad
and my writing's not too bad,
so I want to be a literary lion!
About the lion's name:
"I named him Roary because of his deep, magnificent roar. Hey, he's proud of that roar! The name seemed appropriate when I studied the 'screaming' faces below his feet and felt the power of his roar. Take a look at those faces around the lion's feet. They each resemble the person in the famous painting The Scream by Munch. What do you think? Does Roary need to roar for those 21 faces? Do they need his strength?
I looked up Roary's name online and now I'm wondering if I misspelled it. Under a different spelling (RUAIDHRÍ, pronounced ROR-ee), I found it means "red king" from Irish ruadh "red" combined with rí "king." This was the name of the last high king of Ireland, reigning in the 12th century. Roary is a king, so that fits, since lions are known to be kings. Red? Sometimes his fur looks slightly reddish, in the right light, but maybe there's another meaning. Red of tooth and nail, perhaps? Or tooth and claw, killing to survive on the African savannah."
"This is my version of the story: I let Bonnie think she named me, though I kept whispering "ROR-ee, ROR-ee" telepathically in her ear. I have adopted her version of the name because I don't care how she spells it. What I wanted was an opportunity to roar for justice.
Once upon a time in the land of Lyon, I was an unknown lion waiting for an artist. Taken in by Alain Pouillet, a French painter, I was transformed into the beautiful creature you see in the photo above. Inside my hide, I was still Roary the lion who wanted to roar about the injustice I see in the world. While protecting the people in agony below me, I felt helpless to do more, but I was nevertheless required to stand tall as people admired the artist's work on the canvas of my fur. It was months, nay years, before Bonnie stumbled upon my photo and felt we should become partners in a writing project. I would be able to ROAR like a lion!
When she discovered me, I was known simply as Lion #30. Now I am a literary lion, working with a published writer, ready to roar to protect people in need, like the persons represented by the faces on my pedestal. There are 21 of them, so I have convinced Bonnie to work with me to produce 21 roars: Roar #1 will appear soon on this blog, as soon as I decide where to start in the myriad problems confronting the world today. Wish me luck, fellow lions, and please feel free to suggest subjects for my roars."
Sunday, August 21, 2011
The original of this story is posted here.