Excellent news for this June Monday: my poem ‘Beauty Remembers’ is now online at Polu Texni.
Read it here!
Since the poem was inspired by the tale of Beauty and the Beast, I think this is the time to wax lyrical about how much that fairy tale has inspired and continues to inspire me.
I was first exposed to the fairy tale through the Disney movie. I was five years old when it came out, and it was the first film I ever went to see at a cinema. I remember me and my friend had to sit perched high on the seats to be able to see the screen. We were mesmerised.
It was a magical – and, I think, formative – experience. The Disney version of Beauty and the Beast has stayed with me all these years. I’m not ashamed to admit that I still love it. As a geeky brown-haired bookworm, I identified with Belle from the start. It was fabulous to have an animated character who also liked to read and who dreamt of adventures in the great wide somewhere. I still get shivers in the scene where Belle explores the forbidden west wing of the castle – the music, the animation, ah, such magic!
Later, I found the original fairy tale and loved it too. I was also drawn to other tales of animal transformation and love – The Black Bull of Norroway is a fantastic example, with its powerful female hero climbing the glass mountain to get to her love. And I’m a total sucker for retellings or adaptations of Beauty and the Beast or similar tales. Even if I think the adaptations/retellings are horrible, I’ll enjoy some part of them because hey, it’s Beauty and the Beast!
Naturally, the theme crops up in my own writing, too. Most notably, recently, in the novel I started during Nano 2008 and finished the first draft of last autumn. (The novel that I should edit properly sometime…) Anyway, it’s inspired by Beauty and the Beast, and is set in a strange city and a realm within that city.
While I was revising that novel last August, I was so caught up in the beauty/beast theme that this poem popped out, too. I’m really happy that ‘Beauty Remembers’ is available online now for all to read.