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Sympathy for the Beanstalk Giant

Day 15 Of NaPoWriMo 2018.

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Why is it so wrong, if I, the Giant, toil for magic things with zeal?
My beloved wife, it is for your love, that I work so hard and make deals.

I heard gossip from the villagers that you are harboring an Englishman,
So are you really protecting this young Jack, and feeding him meals?

Look, a month ago, when that beanstalk first reached our castle,
I lost all my hard earned (albeit looted) gold coins and the golden seals.

And two weeks after that, the hen that laid the golden eggs disappears.
Pray, tell my pretty wife, are you having an affair with Jack, and letting him steal?

And tonight when I was resting my bones and listening to the magic harp, my love
I heard some other sounds mixed with yours, is it Jack that you conceal?

And lo and behold, here you are canoodling with this filthy Jack, the Englishman
Fi, fo, fum, I make my bread from his bones that I grind in these millstone wheels.

I let my imagination go wild. I picked the folk tale of Jack and Beanstalk and I put it into adult context with sympathy for the villain – the Giant, but keeping his villainy. Here’s the prompt:

And now for our prompt (optional, as always). In her interview, Blake suggests writing a poem in which a villain faces an unfortunate situation, and is revealed to be human (but still evil). Perhaps this could mean the witch from Hansel & Gretel has lost her beloved cat, and is going about the neighborhood sticking up heart-wrenching “Lost Cat” signs, but still finds human children delicious. Maybe Blackbeard the Pirate is lost at sea in an open boat, remembering how much he loved his grandmother (although he will still kill the first person dumb enough to scoop him from the waves).

I did write this in the ghazal format, but I had to forego the refrain (the radiff), as I just couldn’t make it work. And I also think that the couplets may not work independently, but need the whole poem to establish context.

One thought on “Sympathy for the Beanstalk Giant

  1. Pingback: NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo 2018 – Day 15 – “Wicked Business” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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