Friday, May 11, 2012

Fairy Tale Poetry Pairing

The Learning Network featured fairy tales for its offering this week:

This Poetry Pairing matches A. E. Stallings’s poem “Fairy-tale Logic” with an Arts & Leisure article about films and shows that are based around fairy tales.

After reading the poem and article tell us what you think of the pairing — or select another piece that you think fits better.

And here is the poem:

Fairy-tale Logic
By A. E. Stallings

Fairy 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; count dust specks, mote by mote,
Or learn the phone directory by rote.
Always it’s impossible what someone asks—

You have to fight magic with magic. You have to believe
That you have something impossible up your sleeve,
The language of snakes, perhaps, an invisible cloak,
An army of ants at your beck, or a lethal joke,
The will to do whatever must be done:
Marry a monster. Hand over your firstborn son.

A. E. Stallings, who won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2011, lives in Greece. She has contributed a number of intricately constructed poems and translations to Poetry magazine.

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