Autumn Poetry Challenge: Day 1
Autumn Poetry Challenge: Day 3

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.

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