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Vanity

by Tenyo


Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
who's the fairest of them all?
Is it she with the ebony hair,
and eyes as blue as the sea and air?
Lips as scarlet as her blood,
be it her, I think it should.

But I wish to be the only one
more beautiful than the sinking sun-

So I'll send a man to cut her down
and her cry will be the sweetest sound
that I ever heard and she ever made,
as her blood runs through her forest glade.
Of flesh and skin the animals maul,
across the bones the weeds will crawl.

And then, oh mirror, on the wall,
then I'll be the fairest of them all.


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1313 Reviews


Points: 23286
Reviews: 1313

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Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:04 am
Hannah wrote a review...



Hey, Tenyo. This is awesome! So much about this is tight and clear, and it's a nice short retelling of the fairy tale, so that's awesome. I especially like the malice you put into the queen as she imagines exactly the sound Snow White will make and exactly what her body will be like as it decomposes. That's really the strength, the something new and awesome in this poem. I, at least, never experienced that depth of her villainy.

That said, there are a couple things to fix up:

be it her, I think it should.


What? This sounds like the queen thinks the fairest SHOULD be snow white. Maybe you messed up the wording here?

Of flesh and skin the animals maul,


In this place, what you're trying to describe is lost in a weird sentence structure. "Of flesh and skin the animals maul"... what? It's a dependent phrase. It needs a resolution. Or it needs to be reworded. Maybe. "The flesh and skin, the animals maul". Simple solution?

I like this third stanza, though, with the added syllables in the meter, 'cause it evokes a kind of frantic-ness from the voice. It whirls faster than the first stanza. It's not as calm. We have to rush to get every syllable in.

With that said, I'd like the last stanza to emphasize even more her return to calm as she imagines the future she wanted. Firstly, adding "then" in the last line throws off the meter. But you might consider breaking it up even further, like:

And then,
oh mirror, on the wall,
I'll be
the fairest
of
them
all.

Not quite as dramatic as that. But each line break gives an opportunity for us to pause and read the silence in the poem. Consider the possibility there?




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Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:56 pm
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reason wrote a review...



What black magic is this? No reviews! I'm here to change that.

With the first stanza, I struggle to envision air as blue. I know it's there for the sake of rhyme: however, I'm not feeling it. I know this ruins the a/a/b/b/c/d structure in place: however, you could say "ebony locks" and end the following line with a bitter "sweet talks." It offers new insight on our speaker who it's safe to assume is the Queen.

She's our speaker and this piece is about her vanity. What is it founded on? The need to be the fairest of them all. Raise the stakes; this is her chance to defend herself. Would've been cool to see what the mirror had to say, perhaps?

The way I read this piece, it seems to me that the audience takes the role of the mirror. And I'm wondering: why go to such great lengths?

Back to the last line of the first stanza for a moment I dig it. It breaks out from rhyme and gives us a jarring revelation: she's bitter. The "should" is nearly spat out. I question the use of a comma after her in that line. In its stead I would suggest:

Be it her? I think it should.

That's a funny comparison of beauty and a sunset. The sunset is the last spark of brilliant light before it goes out in favor for a moon. In such a way, it's the very apex of the sun -one with an end although it has a cycle. It would seem to me that the Queen would like to freeze time and remain as the sunset for the rest of eternity.

I wonder if you purposely inverted the rhyme scheme of the first stanza (a/a/b/b/c/d) with the third stanza (g/h/i/i/j/k.) To me, it seemed to act as a break. Rhyme is pleasant to the ear -by ending it- it makes the words all the more shocking: I'll send her a mercenary. A risky move, if I may so, that I question. Yes, it's a line meant to shock and it's repetition in the spirit of the last line of the first stanza. I suppose what didn't sell it for me was the next two line after down. Does the Queen truly intend to watch it unfold via the mirror? Otherwise, she wouldn't hear the sweet cry.

as her blood runs through her forest glade


Why through? I can see it running down a tree and blood spatter on blades of grass: however through an open clearing? It seems too active for my taste and would require tons of blood or anger. This is a mercenary, not the Queen, so I can't envision him being angry. I can see him bored because few people enjoy their jobs.

The ending is too early. Why is this important to her? How does she feel towards her competition? Is this something that sadly has to be done, is she celebrating?





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