Login   Sign Up 


The lifeless fairy

by trina1011 

Posted: 09 April 2015
Word Count: 64

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

She stands there, alone, frozen forever,
Her eternal misery was her prisoners endeavour,
Entrapped in a metal so poisonous,
For her kind it was so dangerous,
It burned her as they put her in this eternal tomb,
Now her whole life is nothing but gloom,
Her prisoners were successful,
But they cannot change the fact that she is, and always will be beautiful.

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

James Graham at 20:43 on 10 April 2015  Report this post
Hi Trina, welcome to the group. I find your poem intriguing but puzzling, and there are two things I want to ask you. First, is it based on a traditional fairy tale? If so, it’s one I don’t know. The poem conveys a strong sense of the awful fate that sometimes befalls both people and mythical beings in fairy tales and legends, but it also leaves the reader wanting to know what the poem doesn’t tell. What’s the full story? Who does this to the fairy and why?

Maybe it’s just that I don’t happen to know the background story, and if it were about (say) Rapunzel I wouldn’t be asking you  these questions. There’s another way of looking at it, though: a poem doesn’t have to work in the same way as a short story. You don’t have to fill everything in – beginning, middle and end. In giving us this poem to read, you might be saying, ‘Here’s a picture of the plight of this poor fairy suffering “eternal misery” – that’s all I’m giving you . Now it’s over to you – fill in your own story’. In other words, poets often leave things unsaid and invite readers to share in the creative process by using their own imagination. At this very moment I’m trying to make up a story that ends in this tragedy, one involving perhaps a wicked king who was thwarted in his evil purposes by a good fairy who kept bringing his victims back to life, so he found a way to silence her forever. Poetry can work that way.

So is it based on a fairy tale, or is it up to the reader?

The other question I wanted to ask may be a bit surprising. Is this a sculpture? A bronze figure of a fairy? The poem could be an imaginative take on a beautifully sculpted figure who is forever trapped in metal but seems almost alive.

It will be interesting to discover how you see the poem yourself. There’ll be more to say – some lines I feel could be strengthened, for instance – but I’ll leave that for now. Well, except for one thing: where you use the word ‘prisoners’ don’t you mean ‘captors’? She is the prisoner!

I see from your profile that you’re working on a novel and a script, and have written essays and articles, but you don’t mention poetry. Have you been writing poetry for some time or is it a new venture?


trina1011 at 21:10 on 10 April 2015  Report this post
Hi James,

Firstly, thank you so much for the detailed feedback, I greatly appreciate it. The poem is based on a fairy ornament in my room, which I thought due to the dark grey material that is used- I am not sure what it is, it gave me the impression of her being frozen/trapped in a single moment. It isn't based on a fairytale and I wanted to leave certain questions in order for the reader to create their own story because I personally think one of the great things about poetry is that every reader will interpret it slightly differently. Poetry is a fairly new venture  of mine but so are all my other forms of writing including my novel and my script. I am trying to discover what sort of writing I enjoy most and which comes the most naturally to me. I have published three poems on allpoetry.com, under the username trina1011 and they have all had very positive comments with both constructive criticism and what they personally liked about the poems. If you would like to, please feel free to check these out.

Many thanks again for the positive comments and constructive feedback.

Bazz at 13:01 on 11 April 2015  Report this post
Hi Trina, I really liked the tone of this piece, especially the last line, and the elusive mythical quality to it. Like James I was confused by the word prisoners here, and so I wasn't quite sure how to read it, your explantion adds a lot to it.
I think when you're new to poetry, the best thing about it is how flexible it can be, how it can allow so many different stories and moods, I hope you continue to enjoy it and write more here :)

V`yonne at 14:23 on 12 April 2015  Report this post
I think maybe 'gloom' is not a strong enough word -- misery? isolation? despair? I think it's a good story line you have going.

trina1011 at 14:55 on 12 April 2015  Report this post
Thank you for the comment, I was considering using the word misery but I had already used it earlier in the poem, so I was trying to think of an synonym.

James Graham at 16:48 on 13 April 2015  Report this post
This is my own view of poetry too: ‘One of the great things about poetry is that every reader will interpret it slightly differently’. As an Eng. Lit. student (many years ago) I remember being taught ‘great poems’ such as Milton’s ‘On his Blindness’, often in a very illuminating way but always with the assumption that the poem is an object. Almost a sacred object. That’s to say, this poem is a work of genius, it’s up to you as students to discover its meaning and appreciate it. Your subjective response is at best unreliable. On that basis reading poetry could be rewarding enough, but essentially passive. So if you’re starting to write poetry with the idea that your work will ‘leave certain questions in order for the reader to create their own story’ I think you’re very much on the right lines.

Reading your poem again, it’s pretty clear that this is a figure cast in metal. There is something about the poem that leaves questions for readers, things to wonder about – to imagine a story of the origins of this fairy figure, what inspired it; but more significantly to reflect on the way an art work seems to ‘freeze’ the living being it represents, so that it’s somehow neither alive nor dead.

Now, this line could be a lot stronger:
Now her whole life is nothing but gloom

‘Gloom’ doesn’t seem a strong enough word, but if you were to use ‘desolation’ for example, you would have to find a word ending in –tion to end the previous line. If you change ‘gloom’ to anything else, the preceding line has to change too, and I don’t think you’d want that because it’s a good line. So the thing to do is try to get a line: ‘Now her life is a...(strong adjective)...gloom’. (It doesn’t need to be ‘whole life, by the way.) I’ll leave that with you – I think there are words that would fit there. The idea is to fill the line with the idea of hopelessness, despair, using at least one strong word to complement ‘gloom’. I hope that makes sense.

One more thing: to make your last line longer than the rest works well, but part of it is a little prosaic.
Her prisoners were successful,
But they cannot change the fact...

Can you find a more interesting phrase to say they were successful but there was one thing they could not do? Or there was one way in which she has defeated them?

It would be good to see a revision if you want to post one. The best way is to click ‘Owner Edit’ and put the second draft just above the first.


trina1011 at 17:00 on 13 April 2015  Report this post
Hi James,

Once again, thanks for your detailed comment. If I find myself with some spare time this week, I will put a second draft on here.

Many Thanks

James Graham at 20:24 on 13 April 2015  Report this post
AllPoetry is a good website. It's good to have new poets alongside famous ones.Unfortunately I couldn't find your poems there. There's a 'Search for a poem' facility but it doesn't seem to be possible to search by user name. If you give me titles, I can try again.


trina1011 at 20:39 on 13 April 2015  Report this post
Hi James the titles are End of Term, Winter and Ocean.

Many Thanks

nickb at 18:00 on 14 April 2015  Report this post
Hi Trina,

welcome to the group.  Like james I wasn't sure at first whether the poem was about a particular fairy tale or a sculpture but having read your comments it is now clear.  In fact you are creating your own imaginative fairy tale about the figure.  I was thrown a bit by "prisoners" as this implies that they are her prisoners rather than the other way round.  Would "jailers" be more appropriate? 


trina1011 at 18:25 on 14 April 2015  Report this post
Hi Nick, thanks for your omment, i originally wrote it as "captors" but then decided to change it. I will change it back to "captors" when I write a revised version.

Many Thanks

James Graham at 20:35 on 14 April 2015  Report this post
Hi Trina – found your poems ok.

‘End of Term’ certainly captures the feelings and atmosphere as that special moment very slowly approaches. ‘Counting down to the promised land’ is a very good line. I like your celebration of winter, the season that perhaps gets the least praise. ‘Ocean’ is the best, I think – it’s a very original idea to use the ocean in that way, as a way of saying that our unhappy times and bad memories ‘drain away’ and dissipate over time; but, the poem says, the ‘hatred’, the most important memory, the lesson learned perhaps, won’t be ‘put in the ocean’. It won’t fade away as other memories do. The last two lines are excellent: the poem’s speaker will overcome this and be strong, but ‘you’ – the cause of her distress – will ‘be the ocean too’, put in his place as it were, no longer able to do harm. Your use of the central idea of the ocean is highly imaginative.

Having read several of your poems I feel you need to condense your writing. In places I feel you’re using too many words and a more concise style would be more effective. Sometimes too, you use language which is too prosaic, too ordinary. ‘But they cannot change the fact...’ is one example: it sounds like someone just making a point about education or next month’s election. If possible there should be something special, something surprising or inventive, in every line of a poem. But these are things I can discuss with you when you post new poems in WW.

With you permission I will put a link to your AllPoetry work  in our Poetry Group forum.


To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .


Other work by trina1011:      ...view all work by trina1011