I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

19 June 2016

Rapunzel Revisited

Part I

Night's my time; it's always been.
In that stillness, all alone,
I find the thoughts that are my own –
not those another mind has given.
Mine is the deep and silent hour.

My parents gave me into care
of another, cruel 'mother'.
We have no blood nor love to share.
She closed me in this Tower.

In the daylight I can see
from my window every tree,
the orchards fruiting merrily
but never to be plucked by me,
the lonely girl with the long gold hair.

I know she does not value me
except as trophy. I can be
her proof of power. And I see
she likes my long gold hair.

She uses them, these long gold locks –
like steps of a ladder, or piled rocks
to climb to my heights. For what she lacks
is her own way to scale the peaks
of thought I reach within this Tower.

She tells me beauty matters, but
my hair's the only claim I've got
to loveliness. 'It won't be cut!'
– my useful, long gold hair.

Part II

As I watched the landscape darken
underneath the moody moon,
I wove from my imagination
ways to travel out, be gone
from the lonely, stony Tower.

And did I let my hair down
for a prince who ventured from the town
and wound my silly heart around
his finger, like my hair?

It's true that I began to long
to join the playful dance and song
I heard so distantly; to throng
with other girls and boys, along
the paths beyond my stone-walled bower.

But it was I who rescued me.
I cut my own locks, breaking free
of her ideas and tyranny.
I left the blighted Tower.

I was not thrown from the window, nor
left out in the wilderness, dirt-poor,
to moan and sigh, and cry some more.
Not I. I marched from the front door,
turned left to town, and breathed the air.

And yes, I met a lovely boy
who fills my heart with lasting joy.
For he is blind, I'm glad to say
to my lack of long gold hair.

(The form is based on Tennyson's 'The Lady of Shalott', whose circumstances were similar.)

Linked to the Tuesday Platform for 20 Dec. 2016, at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.


  1. I like very much the message in this poem, Rosemary! Walking out of that tower on one's own and not looking back is the way to! This poem is a treasure.

  2. I'm so happy she walked through the front door. I hope she gave it a good slam too.

  3. Your use of cleve rhyme and the ability to tell this tale well has left me speechless! Well done.

  4. I LOVE this real-life fairy tale. Especially when she walks out the door on her own. This is gorgeous to read, my friend.

  5. I love the alternate story, the viewpoint away from the past and stupid roles. This reminds me a bit of Carol Ann Duffy's the world's wife..

  6. You put a lot of effort into the writing of this Rosemary.
    But it was I who rescued me.
    I cut my own locks, breaking free...
    I wish Elaine had done the same.

  7. Of all things this poem reminded me of the inner fight I'm having with myself about cutting my long hair. Lol! I like this version of the story much better. Hugs!

  8. Love this..We are our own escape. This is a wonderful updated Rapunzel.

  9. O the dangers of being blond! Nice Rosemary, brought to mind when a friend once ran her hands through my soft hair.

  10. This is the story we should be telling our daughters and granddaughters! Love it!

  11. That's right girl! March through that door proudly!