Today, I'm looking for poems based on the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, such as The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, The Matchgirl, The Tinderbox, The Nightingale, and so forth. Choose which ever tale you want, just make sure it's Andersen's and not someone else's (like Charles Perrault or the Brothers Grimm).
The poem I've posted below, for example, was inspired by HCA's "The Princess and the Pea." (But poetry based on any Andersen tale is welcome, you needn't stick this one.)
The rules of the Challenge are listed in the first post in this series; if you are new to the Challenge, please read them before you post. Thank you, once again, to everyone who has contributed poetry so far; and also to all the lovely readers who have taken the time to give the poets their feedback. Your generosity is overwhelming.
To start us off today, here's Joseph Stanton's wry and utterly charming take on "The Princess and the Pea." Joe is the author of Imaginary Museum and other wonderful works of poetry and prose. He teaches at the University of Hawai'i at Mano.
Princess and the Pea
The extremity of her sensitivity
impressed a richly idle princely family,
of her discomfort, bothered as she had to be
by the absurd softness of the ample beddings,
not to mention the pillow piles aggravating
her much lamented acrophobic dis-ease.
As years passed by, she taught her king
how a board under the mattress aids the spine
and keeps it straight and ready for laughter.
Under her guidance, both wise and refined,
the kingdom prospered, happily ever after.
The Princess and the Pea art above is by the French illustrator Edmund Dulac (1882-1953), the Russian illustrator Gennady Spirin, and the Spanish photographer Eugenio Recuenco. The portrait of Hans Christian Andersen is by the "Dutch Golden Age" painter Constantin Hansen (1804-1880). The poem above, "Princess and the Pea," first appeared in The Journal of Mythic Arts, copyright c 2006 by Joseph Stantion; all rights are reserved by the author.