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Prompt #142 Once Upon a Time When…

February 7, 2013

Once upon a time when… and that’s just how fairy tales begin.
We Write Poems:

Not that they ever went away, but have you noticed how fairy tales seem to be everywhere these days?  From major motion pictures to several new TV series, fairy tales are once again capturing the imagination.  After all, fairy tales are full of magic and impossible tasks.

Frog prince on leafFairy tales are full of impossible tasks:
Gather the chin hairs of a man-eating goat,
Or cross a sulphuric lake in a leaky boat,
Select the prince from a row of identical masks,
Tiptoe up to a dragon where it basks
And snatch its bone…
Always it’s impossible what someone asks–
You have to fight magic with magic…
excerpt from Fairy-tale Logic by A.E. Stallings
witch's feetHave you a favorite fairy tale character…. beauty or the beast? Frog or the prince?

Let’s say we join the fairy tale revival and:

Write a poem from the viewpoint of a character in a fairy tale.  Fairy tales are almost invariably told in 3rd person.  And that might be part of the explanation as to why characters in fairy tales are rather ‘flat.’  The tale is far more interested in what happens to them or what they make happen, than in their individuality.  So how about trying 1st person in our poems and bringing more ‘human awareness’ into our chosen character.  And whose perspective might you use… Little Red?  The wolf?  Or might you try bringing the perspectives of both into a poem.  Now that’s not an impossible task is it?

So Rapunzel… do you want to let down your hair and live happily ever after?  And, pray tell…. why?
Come back to leave a link to your poem next Wednesday when you see our second follow-up post called, It’s Post Your Poems Day!  If you have questions about We Write Poems and our prompt-and-poem process, or if you are new here at WWP, please read our about page.

      post images © with permission

  1. February 8, 2013 10:31 pm

    Hmm… interesting! I think we might do well to think like an actor might, immersion into the role, whatever role we imagine ourselves. Oh delicious villains, as they say! However, just what might a princess really think and feel inside? I don’t know.

  2. qualandar permalink
    February 18, 2013 2:23 am

    Reblogged this on Bleeding Heart.

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