Poetry month 2012: 8. A Bad Princess

I’m not a fan of children’s poetry (I tend to find it stupid and pointless), and I’m not really a fan of princess stories either.

The thing about princess stories is that they are ubiquitous and disturbing. Why was it ok for the prince to kiss Sleeping Beauty? She was asleep! Likewise the “dead” Snow White after eating the poisoned apple.

The stories, along with other fairytales, are part of our culture and heritage though – essential knowledge to understand so much else which alludes to them.

Here’s a silly kids’ poem about a silly princes, but I’m sharing it because my jaw dropped at the end.

It’s from Carol Ann Duffy’s The Oldest Girl in the World.

     A Bad Princess

     A Bad Princess stomped through the woods
     in a pair of boots
                                  looking for trouble –
     diamond tiara, satin dress, hair an absolute mess,
     ready to bubble.

     Imagine her shock and surprise
     when she bumped straight into
                                                          her very own double:

     a Tree Girl,
     with shiny holly-green eyes
     and a crown of autumn leaves on her wild head,
     the colour of both of their hair.

     Don’t you dare, screamed Bad,
     walk in these Royal woods looking like me!

     I shall do as I please, you grumpy old thing,
     said Tree.
     Give me those emeralds that hang from your ears
     or I’ll kick you hard
     and pinch you meanly.
     Then we’ll see which one of we two
     is cut out
                    to be Queenly!

     Oh! The Bad Princess turned
                                                     and ran,
     ran for her life
     into the arms of the dull young Prince
     and became his wife.

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