Sharpen your pencils and rev your computer engines, it's the last day of the Autumn Poetry Challenge. Our theme is the "Beauty and the Beast" fairy tale. I'll post the rules of the game one more time:
I am challenging all you poets out there to share a poem (or poems) on the theme of the day. 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 below. Reader feedback on the poems is encouraged and deeply appreciated.
Speaking of feedback, do check in on the Comment threads from earlier in the week, where lovely new poems keeping appearing, as if by magic....
The original version of "Beauty and the Beast" was written in 1740 by Madame Gabrielle–Suzanne de Villeneuve, who was part of the "second wave" of writers of literary fairy tales in 17th/18th century France. To read a brief history of the tale, go here. To read more about the salon fairy tales of France, go here.
We have a gorgeous poem from the JoMA archives to start us off today: Jane Yolen's "Beauty and the Beast: An Anniversary." Jane is the author of over three hundred books, including poetry collections for both children and adults. Her latest collection is Sister Fox's Field Guide to the Writing Life, which can be ordered from Unsettling Wonder.
Beauty and the Beast:
It is winter now,
and the roses are blooming again,
their petals bright against the snow.
My father died last April;
my sisters no longer write,
except at the turning of the year,
content with their fine houses
and their grandchildren.
Beast and I
putter in the gardens
and walk slowly on the forest paths.
He is graying around the muzzle
and I have silver combs
to match my hair.
I have no regrets.
Though sometimes I do wonder
what sounds children
might have made
running across the marble halls,
swinging from the birches
over the roses
in the snow.
The Beauty and the Beast art above is by Mercer Mayer, Eleanor Vere Boyle (1825-1916), and Angela Barrett. "Beauty and the Beast: An Anniversary" first appeared in The Faery Flag by Jane Yolen, and was subsequently reprinted in The Journal of Mythic Arts. It was also recorded by June Tabor on her album Against the Stream, with music by Huw Warren. The poem is copyright c 1989 by Jane Yolen; all rights reserved by the author.
If you post a poem and it doesn't appear right away, don't worry. Sometimes Typepad routes comments to the Spam box -- but I'm checking the box regularly, so your poem will eventually appear. If today's theme doesn't inspire you, the next Poetry Challenge will be in January.