Fairy Tales for Writers: Sleeping Beauty

Another sample poem from Fairy Tales for Writers:

Fairy Tales for Writers: Sleeping Beauty
by Lawrence Schimel

There are many who yearn to be frozen
while their youth is at its peak,
to stretch out that ephemeral time
into a hundred years or more.

There are others who seem not to discover themselves
until late in life, following sundry other paths
until they stumble upon a true vocation, such as writing.
We call them sleeping beauties, these authors
who blossom in a later season, their measured, mature prose
a welcome antidote to the youthful brouhaha
that’s all the rage in the marketplace these days.

But far too many are the true sleeping beauties,
who at a tender age find a harsh critic
who belittles their talent and their fantasies
with a verbal barb sharper than the nib of any fountain pen
that silences the stories, poems, daydreams
they might have written.

Be it from parent or teacher, sibling or spouse,
just one tiny prick of criticism is all it takes sometimes
to put a burgeoning writer to sleep
for a hundred years,
for a lifetime,
for so long that no princes are left
to hack through the brambles,
or if one is, he can’t imagine that he should bother.

Copyright © 2003 by Lawrence Schimel. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint this poem, please contact the author c/o the publisher.

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