Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jeannine Hall Gailey on Allerleirauh

The beginning of "Allerleirauh Reveals Herself to the Prince," by Jeannine Hall Gailey:

"I'd rather be mistaken for an animal.
If you knew what I ran from,
how my mother cursed me with golden hair, this face.

She left me a father obsessed with her image.
I fear your eyes, just as I feared his.
This coat offers shelter."

A friend once pointed out to me that the marriage of Donkeyskin/Allerleirah is not necessarily a happy ending-the prince only loves her when he sees how beautiful she is, the same reason her father wanted to marry her. This poem recognizes that same sad irony. I think so many girls face a battle between their desire to be found beautiful, yet their desire to be loved for more than that.
Gustav Dore

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