Rumplestiltskin | Teen Ink


November 20, 2014
By Clarabelle SILVER, Caracas, Other
Clarabelle SILVER, Caracas, Other
6 articles 0 photos 21 comments

I lived concealed between the shades of the evergreen,
Where a green, so dark, did envelop me.
Under the forest’s dark and mangled cloak,
Paper skin, ruby red lips, glistening emerald eyes and
Strands of gold
that cascaded
down my shoulders
Like a willow tree.
Where the green and the gold merged
Between the sun dipped sunsets and Eden green meadows.
Well, where else would a maiden like me hide
from the wolves of the treacherous world outside?


And then a king appeared with this nobles and his men.
All silver in armor, staring at the golden girl,
What a charmer.
I smiled, I waved.
Digging my own grave.
A joke, a smirk. A lie, no fairytale, just a simple sale.
A single bet was made. One shake, one nod,
They closed the deal and I was carried off.


In the chamber I wept, in the chamber I sat with
Heaps of hay, not gold enough yet. And then
A man. Short, rounded and strange,
Picked up some hay and wove it into golden strays.
A necklace, a trinket of the past,
In exchange for some gold, in exchange for a life.


Night fell in, and day broke out,
A chamber full of gold, a spinning wheel and a golden girl.
But the Winter Wren kept singing its chords
As the Brown Bear danced in his treasured gold.
Like a greedy child he sent me off again,
New room, new wheel, new hay to spin again.


Out of thin air like a whisper, sly rumor or murmur
He appeared, with his snake like eyes,
The ring, on your finger, and I will devise
A entire chamber full of gold, he smiled
As I did as I was told.


One last night I was locked up again,
New room, same man. Same speech, different pact.
A life in exchange of some gold. A life to save the golden girl.
I put my womb up to rent, sold my blood to
Save from spilling it tomorrow.


Third time’s a charm
And I was married off like a golden trophy.
From forest canopies to castle balconies
And golden sunsets to golden chests.
I left my innocence by that spinning wheel,
Forgot the miller girl by the dungeon cell,
Replaced the old rags for velvet robes and fur covered coats,
Found a different green inside of me, instead.


I grew inwards out,
A frail balloon blown to be blown out,
She wept and I prayed as they broke us apart.
One cut, one tie,
But they left a golden strand behind.
Underneath those golden locks to the spinning wheel in my chest,
An eternal bond, golden as autumn, bright as summer.


Same man, tables turned, I prayed he wouldn’t return.
No money, no gold, no land, no power. Just the girl.
"Three days you had and three days I shall give.
Turn the sand clock around,
Time for the second round.
Guess my name,
And then you may keep her.
But if time runs out,
Then you must leave her."


I searched and I read through every name book I had.
Noel, Marc, Davit and maramduke. Nathan, Joey,
Tyler and Georgi. No, he said, as he smiled wickedly, amused.
Matas, Noel, Sem and Jakub, Alexander, Hugo,
Oliver and Yusuf. No, no, no.


Second night in, I followed him out
To the dark thorny woods where he lived by himself.
"Merrily the feat I’ll make.
Today I’ll brew, tomorrow bake;
Merrily I’ll dance and sing,
For next day will a stranger bring.
Little does my lady dream
Rumpelstiltskin is my name!"


Next daybreak he pranced to the throne room,
Same man, different girl.
Three days have passed and I seek the young girl.
I stifled, are you John?
Is your name Tom?
It is not.
Is it Jemmy,
No, ma’am.
Well is it, Rumpelstiltskin?
I smiled, a sly smirk. He turned, face red hot.
He screeched and he yelled, shaking the ground beneath him,
He stomped one foot, with a merry funny dance, fell right through the marble.
Too bad, fresh new tiles.
Dark mouth, open wide. An open gash on the white lit floor.
Rumpelstiltskin drowned down into the earth. Rumepstiltskin, was no more.

The author's comments:

This a pastiche that I wrote for a school assignment based on Carol Ann Duffy's poetic style. I was inspired by several of Carol Ann Duffy’s poems in “The World’s Wife” and decided to imitate her practice of voicing real and fictional female characters by writing a poem based on the fairytale “Rumpelstiltskin”. The speaker, who is the miller girl in the fairytale, narrates the story from her perspective. I wanted to add a twist to the girl’s personality, as Duffy usually does when writing about fictional characters. In my pastiche, the miller girl is not the innocent and kind girl she is known to be. Instead, she transforms from a modest and kind young girl to an unpleasant women with lust for gold and money. It is a fairly long poem, mainly because this is a complicated fairytale that requires significant explaining to get through. I incorporated some of Duffy’s most frequent themes, such as identity, feminism and nature vs. man. I also imitated Duffy’s style, specifically the one expressed in the poem “Little Red Cap”, through the use of internal rhyme (which imitates the rhyming scheme in child stories and fairytales), imagery (specifically involving nature), frequent enjambment, use of figurative devices (such a metaphor, simile and personification) and free verse with variations in line length.

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