Observing the Formalities by Neil Gaiman

Image result for troll's-eye view book cover

Title: Observing the Formalities
Author: Neil Gaiman
In: Troll’s-Eye View (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling) & Trigger Warning (Neil Gaiman)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Poetry, Retellings, Villains
Dates read: 1st March 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Poem
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Dull, useless things.


The entire issue with Aurora’s birthday is that no one decided to observe the formalities. And we all know how this story eventually ends…


I absolutely loved this poem. Although Maleficent (or the evil fairy from Sleeping Beauty) has always seemed kind of a terrifying villain, she’s also been the one that I relate to the best. Well, maybe not relate to, but understand. After all, she is retaliating against an incredible slight. Plus, there are so many beautiful retellings in the world now which make her seem far less evil, and just… misunderstood.

Which is probably why I love this poem so much. It highlights the faux pas that was made in “observing the formalities”. And instead of feeling like a tale of an evil witch, it is more about someone who really likes the rules. Which an organise freak like me can completely relate to…

<- MollyThe Cinderella Game ->

Image source: Amazon

3 thoughts on “Observing the Formalities by Neil Gaiman

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