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Briar Rose Essay Research Paper

Briar Rose Essay, Research Paper “Briar Rose” is the classic fairytale of Sleeping Beauty come to life. And what a life it is taken from her family, hidden way from her destine. Only for fate to come and intervene. The story tells of fairies and prophecies. The author Anne Sexton, speaks of an insomniac laying awake at night in “Briar Rose”

Briar Rose Essay, Research Paper

“Briar Rose” is the classic fairytale of Sleeping Beauty come to life. And what a life it is taken from her family, hidden way from her destine. Only for fate to come and intervene. The story tells of fairies and prophecies. The author Anne Sexton, speaks of an insomniac laying awake at night in “Briar Rose”

Consider

a girl who keeps slipping off,

arms limp as old carrots,

into a hypnotist’s trance,

into a spirit world

speaking with the gift of tongues.

she is stuck in the time machine,

suddenly two years sucking her thumb,

inward as a snail,

learning to talk again.

She’s on a voyage.

She swimming further and further back, /

up like a salmon,

struggling into her mother’s pocketbook.

Little doll children,

come to Papa.

Sit on my knee.

I have a kiss for the back of your neck.

A penny for your thoughts, Princess.

I will hunt them like emeralds.

Come be my snookie

and I will give you a root.

That kind of voyage,

rank as honeysuckle.

Once

a king had a christening

for his daughter Briar Rose

and because he had only twelve gold plates

he asked only twelve fairies

to he grand event.

The thirteenth fairy,

her fingers as long and thin as straws,

her eyes burnt by cigarettes,

her uterus an empty teacup,

arrived with an evil gift.

She made the prophecy:

The princess shall prick herself

on a spinning wheel in her fifteenth year

and then fall dead

Kaput!

The court fell silent.

The king looked like Mook’s Scream.

Fairies prophesies

in times like those

held water.

However the twelfth fairy

had a certain kind of eraser

and thus mit-I-gated the curse.

changing that death

into a hundred year sleep.

The king ordered every spinning wheel

Exterminated and

Briar Rose grew to be a goddess

and each night the king

bit the hem of her gown

to keep her safe.

He fastened the moon up

with a safety pin

to give her a perpetual light.

He force every male in the count

to scour his tongue with Bab – o

lest they poison the air she dwell in.

Thus she dwelt in his odor.

Rank as honeysuckle.

On her fifteenth birthday

she pricked her finger

on a spinning wheel

and the clocks stopped

Yes indeed. She went to sleep

the king and queen went to sleep,

the courtiers, the flies on the wall.

The fire in the hearth grew still

And the roast meat stopped crackling.

The trees turned into metal

and the dogs became china.

They all lay in a trance,

each a catatonic

stuck in a time machine.

Even frogs were zombies.

Only a bunch of briar rose grew

forming a great wall of tacks

around the castle.

Many princes

tried to get through the brambles

for they had heard much of Briar Rose

but they had not scoured their tongues

so they were held by the thorns

and thus were crucified.

In due time

a hundred years passed

and a prince got through.

The briar parted as if for Moses

and the prince found the tableau intact.

He kissed Briar Rose

and she woke up crying:

Daddy! Daddy!

Presto! She’s out of prison!

She married the prince

and all went well

except for the fear –

the fear of sleep.

Briar Rose

was an insomniac . . .

She could not nap

or lie in sleep

without the court chemist

mixing her some knock out drops

and never in the presence of the prince.

If it is to come, she said,

sleep must take me unawares

while I am laughing or dancing

so that I do not dream,

for when I do I see the table set

and a faltering crone at my place,

her eyes burnt by cigarettes

as she eats betrayal like a slice of meat.

I must not sleep

for while asleep I’m ninety

and think I’m dying.

Death rattles in my throat

like a marble.

I wear tube like earrings.

I lie as still as a bar iron.

You can stick a needle

through my kneecap and I won’t flinch

I’m all shoot up with Novocain.

This trance girl

is yours to do with.

You could lay her in a grave.

And shovel dirt on her face

and she’d never call back: Hello there!

But if you kiss her on the mouth

her eyes would spring open

and she’d call out: Daddy! Daddy!

Presto!

She’s out of prison.

There was a theft.

That much I am told.

I was abandoned.

That much I know.

I was forced forward

I was forced backward

I was passed from hand to hand

like a bowl of fruit.

Each night I am nailed into place

and forget who I am.

Daddy?

There’s another kind of prison,

It’s not the prince at all,

but the father,

drunkenly bent over my bed,

circling the abyss like a shark,

my father thick upon me

like a sleeping jellyfish

What voyage this, girl?

God help –

this life after death?

31b

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