Monday, January 28, 2013

Cory-Ellen Nadel's "Scheherezade's Saving Grace"

The poem "Scheherezade's Saving Grace" by Cory-Ellen Nadel is told from Scheherezade's perspective, but really applies to fairy tales in general (and also references specific non-Arabian Nights tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood) and a lot of the issues of appropriateness for children, and the nature of tales and their audience.

She starts with,
"Some of my stories are pleasant
tales you can tell to children
publish in hardcovers with bright pictures in primary colors,
my photo smiling on the jacket"

Which is the most common idea of fairy tale collections people have today. But she also mentions "pleasant tales you should save for adults", "not pleasant tales," and ends with,

"Some of them are downright nasty tales
and hearing them you retch, but you know
(you always knew)
that they are the truest of all my stories
and that is why they leave you
lying awake and tearful,
staring into darksome night and remembering
my face, terrible as god
as I told them
to save myself."
It's a pretty short poem, click through to read the whole thing!

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