The Fairy Lady of Denmark Lies Dead by the Sea

Of those poor women of literature and the men who love them.

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1. The Fairy Lady of Denmark Lies Dead by the Sea

The Fairy Lady of Denmark Lies Dead by the Sea

By 94931355

 

On those poor women of literature and the men who love them

 

            Do you know what honors English does to a child? Imagine clay, yet unbaked and malleable; now entrust that clay to an awesome force, oh-so-very revolutionary for ideas met with general disapproval, at least in practice. Ok, perhaps clay is not the best example for the human psyche, but you get the idea.  Byron's mistress lies dead and fair and Poe just goes straight on to necrophilia. Don’t worry, I haven’t dabbled—I'm just the poor boy who watched Ophelia climb into Shalott's willow; do you know that one could see a little boat drifting by as she drowned? I think the fairy Lady meant to save her waterlogged sister.

            I've always loved to read—obvious—and the accelerated literature program offered by Middle-of-Nowhere Middle School (MNMS) just looked so darn tasty. I almost wish someone had warned me; though I suppose that old saying “ignorance is bliss” should have sunk in by then. It never will. Does wisdom know that knowing sometimes sucks and choose to learn anyway? In that case, I can claim to be a little wise. I digress, my fallacies are mounting.

            Hormones and literature just do not mix. In fact, Norton should put a warning label on the covers of their anthologies, “DO NOT MIX WITH HORMONALLY INBALANCED YOUTHS,” all caps and everything. It would save lives.

            Do you know that boys are vain? Prufrock knew, and Elliot too, though I think that Prufrock had a better clue; he rolled his hems to walk in surf, hearing the fairy Lady’s song as she passed coldly from this earth, and knew that she sang not for him. It was age that separated them, unlike the cold stones of Shalott and alike them all the same; and it was vanity like a cracked shadow-mirror that showed Prufrock the meaning of his death. He never heard Denmark’s daughter, and so he never saw her drown.

            I’ve always loved the fairer sex—perhaps too much for my own good. It calls questions, you know, to ever go that way. So long seem those nights when lamplight showed the little hairs and little spoons and vivacious moods that measure out my life; when the limping devil whispered in my ear that pleasure is bitter won from charming. Perhaps the word he meant was “harming”—I’ve overused my share of C’s. That devil, I wonder how long his nights were that he chose to haunt me. How many times lay he awake, staring at the creaky boards or drafty panes and finding comfort in the pelting of the rain.

            Boys and girls just do not mix. I do admit the coursing joy, like fire in the veins, that is romantic play; but is it play that always ends with tombs and shallow graves? Blame poets for my silly thoughts, I’ve not but Gothic scenes to draw on.

            Music is a help. I like to play piano; that first girl played piano—so cool. I actually learned after her. Come to think of it, I learned a lot from her. She brought to life those dusty words from walls of text in brick-like books that I carried daily on my back, like some porter, to English class. Yes, I was a slave to the metaphors and fantasies of long dead men (poets, keep up), and a martyr to estrogen. It all started with Dr. Seuss, back in the early days, and most recently with the Bard’s plays. Like every other little boy, I eventually wondered whether I ought to be—a simple mind here overthrown. To that end, not all ended well.

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