that when I got my chance to love a beast
I would not be up to the task.
As he came in for the kiss I'd turn away
or gag on the mane in my mouth
and the fair-haired prince
and the dress that Beauty wore
on the last page in my Ladybird book
would be lost to me forever."
Here's the beginning of Lorraine Mariner's poem, "My Beast." You can read the whole thing here (and also listen to it being read aloud). I love this first section because I tended to have the same thought when I read fairy tales as a child-that I needed to pay attention because somehow I might be put in the same situation and need to use the fairy tales to figure out what I should do.
I also wasn't familiar with the illustrations from the Ladybird book she mentions, so I googled them and here are some of my favorites!
Mariner goes on to discuss her disillusionment with her expectations of BATB, but then comes to terms with a balance of hope and realism. Many modern poets seem to have a very bleak view of fairy tales and happy endings so I appreciated the overall message. It's a very quick, easy read