Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The Goblin Girl (A Child's Fairy Story)

image by Gustaf Teggren

The Goblin Girl is cursed and wanders
over stubbled fields and passes under
the riven bridge that ice has split
and counts herself the cause of it.

Should the Goblin Girl admire the arc
of a lofty bird it misses its mark--
falters and falls like an iron omen
to fall at her feet in evening gloaming.

On thorny brambles she lays her head
with moon for pillow and stone for bed
to dream of peacocks and peahens crying
for the bride whose lily is cut and dying.

Who laid the wicked curse upon her?
Perhaps some coward behind a mask?
Or was it the smug and well-dressed hunter
who cradles his gun and ready flask?

Who burned her image and let the milk curdle
as done to them by an earlier other?
Why, the very one who rocked the cradle--
the Goblin Girl's Janus-faced mother.

for Word Garden Word List--Christina Rossetti. The poem is, in style, an homage.

For more about the two-faced god Janus, look HERE. 

Music: Sarah McLachlan "In The Arms Of An Angel"


  1. I love the metre of this poem, and the excellent rhyming, as well as the story told, of Goblin Girl, whose curse is so fittingly explained in the closing stanza. I especially enjoyed the thorny brambles stanza.

  2. Deadly the curse when its source is one's mother! That reveal catches us by surprise, cuts to the core, even as it clinches the Goblin Girl's lost-ness, her homelessness. Rosetti's influence shines through. I admire the ironic use of the ordered mertric/rhyming form to emphasize the disordered form of her psyche. How much more forlorn she seems, and doomed in her wanderings! Wonderful poetry as always, Shay. You never disappoint :)

  3. Your Mommie Dearest poems are like a punch in the gut. These lines made me catch my breath ... "to dream of peacocks and peahens crying for the bride whose lily is cut and dying" ... exquisite.

  4. Perfetto. Not just an homage, a deepening if you will.

  5. You have not just used the style of Rossetti and her period, but captured its civilized devastation, its mannered little scalpels of metaphor that lay out the bones and muscle of an emotion without the slightest bit of unsightly blood. Goblin Market has always been a difficult poem for me to grasp, but yours is crystal. The singsong rhyme and meter is so deceptively sweet, yet the sense of something ominous and dark never fully rises from under its mask, its blurred disguise, til the last stanza, where it is revealed so dramatically. So sorry I couldn't write for this one, but you have more than made up for anything I might have attempted with the quality of this poem.

  6. Wow! Beautifully written, as ever, Shay. The rhyme, the rhythm, the starkness of this tale but my god, it's dark! I want the curse removed from her, please let there be a part two where she has a little luck and something goes right for her. That stanza about the bird falling at her feet is so vivid.


Spirit, what do you wish to tell us?