In honor of National Poetry Month, we've got not one but six poems for you today -- all inspired by the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale.
there was a strange deception:
a wolf dressed in frills,
a kind of transvestite.
But I get ahead of my story.....
First, grant me my sense of history:
I did it for posterity,
for kindergarten teachers
and a clear moral....
3. Angela Omulepu uses Red Riding Hood imagery to powerful effect in her short poem "Self-Portrait" (which was part of the Poetry on the Buses program in Washington State):
I'm no Red Riding Hood, lost in the woods,
More gap-toothed and leaping, evergreen
To evergreen, more hermit than hobbit....
In the forest by your house,
I met someone gathering wood. "Nice axe,"
I said before wandering further.
I was obtaining samples for my botany class....
You might ask why. Here's why. Poetry.
The wolf, I knew, would lead me deep into the woods,
away from home, to a dark tangled thorny place
lit by the eyes of owls....
6. Sonia Murphy, too, explores the allure of the wild in her poem "Marrying the Wolf" (scroll down to the March 31 entry on Murphy's blog, Igneous Paramour):
my sugar bowl of eggs
for his lacy underbelly
of wet fur.
my wooden spoons
for his thick honest
More Red Riding Hood poems can be found in the Journal of Mythic Arts archives. Follow these links to delightful pieces by Holly Black, Johnny Clewell, Karen Daly, Theodora Goss, Carrie Miner, and Jane Yolen; and a Sunday Poem feature on Jennifer Chang.
Lawrence Schimel's fabulous poem "Journeybread Recipe" inspired the e-postcard above, with art by Walter Crane. You'll find this and many other free e-postcards over on our Mythic Poetry e-Postcard page.
The art below below is a Red Riding Hood narrative sculpture by midwestern artist John T. Unger, working in collaboration with his daughter Mya Smith. Go here to learn more about the piece, and about Unger's work.
For more about the fairy tale itself: here's my article on the history of Little Red Riding Hood; you'll find an annotated version of the story over on Surlalune; and I recommend Catherine Orenstein's entertaining book Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale.