Autumn Poetry Challenge: Day 2

Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky

The theme for the Poetry Challenge today is "Rapunzel." Judging by the fact that there are fewer Rapunzel-inspired poems than Red-Riding-Hood-inspired poems in publication, this is a slightly harder challenge...but I'm certain the Mythic Arts community is up to finding new approaches to the tale.

The rules of the Challenge can be found in the first post in the series; they're simple, but please read them before you post. Many thanks to all of you who have contributed poems so far, and also to everyone who has been participating by giving the poets feedback.

To kick today's Challenge off, here's a fine Rapunzel poem (from the JoMA archives) by Jeannine Hall Gailey: "Rapunzel: I Like the Quiet." Jeannine is the author of three collections rich in works inspired by myth, folklore, and fairy tales: Female Comic Book Superheroes, Becoming the Villainess, and She Returns to the Floating Word. She's the Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington, and teaches at National University.

Rapunzel illustrations by Florence Harrison and Ernst LiebermannRapunzel: I Like the Quiet

Solitude my solace, wrapped around me
like layers of golden hair. Stacks of books
and I can sing as loud as I please all day
   and night.
In sleep I kick and snore, during the day,
   delight
in eating nothing but radishes and lime leaf tea.
Who says I need a partner to dance? Here
in this tower I am mistress of all; the reindeer,
the knight’s armor teetering in the corner,
various discarded disguises, crowns,
crumbs and bones. Will you rescue me?
What kingdom will replace my bounty
of leisure, what tether of care and nurture
do you wish to rope my neck with?

 - Jeannine Hall Gailey


A fairy tale illustration by Helen Stratton

For the history of the Rapunzel fairy tale (and excerpts from other Rapunzel poems) go here. To read another Rapunzel poem from Jeannine, go here.

Rapunzel by Arthur Rackham

The Rapunzel paintings above are by Paul O. Zelinksy, Florence Harrison (1877-1955), Ernst Liebermann (1869-1960), and Arthur Rackham (1867-1939). The black-and-white fairy tale decoration is by Helen Stratton (1891-1925). The poem above, "Rapunzel: I Like the Quiet" made its first appearance in The Journal of Mythic Arts. It is copyright c 2008 by Jeannine Hall Gailey; all rights reserved by the author.

PLEASE NOTE: There are so many responses to this post that Typepad has broken them into two pages. Be sure to click on the "Show More Comments" link at the end of the first page (which is easy to miss) in order to see the lastest poetry additions.


Autumn Poetry Challenge: Day 1

Little Red Riding Hood by Jillian Tamaki

Little Red Cap by Walter Crane

Inspired by your response to the Ondine post, it's Poetry Challenge week here on Myth & Moor, running from now through Saturday.

I am challenging all you poets out there to share a poem (or poems) on the theme of the day. There are no rules beyond adhering to the theme: brand new poems are encouraged, but your older poems are welcome too. You don't have to be a published poet to contribute; you don't have to be a regular reader of this blog; and you don't even have to be an adult (but if you're a child, please let us know your age). To participate, just post your poem(s) in the comments thread.

Regular comments are welcome too, of course.

I'll start the ball rolling each morning by posting a poem from the Journal of Mythic Arts archives, along with related imagery.

Today, I'm looking for poems inspired by the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. Here's an excellent one by my friend and publishing colleague Lawrence Schimel, who lives in Madrid, Spain:

Little Red Riding Hood by Margaret Ely WebbJourneybread Recipe

"Even in the kitchen there was
the smell of journey"
          - Anne Sexton, "Little Red Riding Hood"

1. In a tupperware wood, mix child and hood. Stir slowly. Add wolf.

2. Turn out onto a lightly floured path, and begin the walk home from school.

3. Sweeten the journey with candied petals: velvet tongues of violet, a posy of roses. Soon you will crave more.

4. Knead the flowers through the dough as wolf and child converse, tasting of each others flesh, a mingling of scents.

5. Now crack the wolf and separate the  Little Red Riding Hood by Ana Juanwhites—the large eyes, the long teeth—from the yolks.

6. Fold in the yeasty souls, fermented while none were watching. You are too young to hang out in bars.

7. Cover, and, warm and moist, let the bloated belly rise nine months.

8. Shape into a pudgy child, a dough boy, lumpy but sweet. Bake half an hour.

9. Just before the time is up—the end in sight, the water broken–split the top with a hunting knife, bone-handled and sharp.

10. Serve swaddled in a wolfskin throw, cradled in a basket and left on a grandmother's doorstep.

11. Go to your room. You have homework to be done. You are too young to be in the kitchen, cooking.

- Lawrence Schimel

Little Red-cap by Lisbeth Zwerger

If you'd like to know more about the history of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, go here.

Little Red Riding Hood illustration by Lisbeth Zwerger

The Little Red Riding Hood art above is by Jillian Tamaki, Walter Crane (1845-1915), Margaret Ely Webb (1877-1965), Ana Juan, and (the last two paintings) Lisbeth Zwerger. "Journeybread Recipe" by Lawrence Schimel appeared in Black Thorn, White Rose (Avon Books) and The Journal of Mythic Arts. It is copyright c 1994 by Lawrence Schimel; all rights reserved by the author.

PLEASE NOTE: There are so many responses to this post that Typepad has broken them into two pages. Be sure to click on the "Show More Comments" link at the end of the first page (which is easy to miss) in order to see the lastest poetry additions.