I love when you read a poem and it makes you want to dive right into the subject matter and find out more. The fact that this poem featured a trickster from folklore just tickled my fancy all the more. It was actually incredibly sad that it was only two pages long.
It fits that a trickster story would take place in a children’s classroom. After all, children are really good vessels of chaos. So having a bunch of the little darlings all crowded into one classroom would surely attract some kind of poltergeist to wreak a little havoc on our daily lives. Although I enjoyed this story, I did feel incredibly sympathetic towards the teacher. Not only does she have to try and corral a bunch of children who just aren’t interested in grammar. But she also has to contend with a poltergeist who is definitely not interested in grammar.
I’m really glad that this story didn’t have a sad ending. I was fully expecting it to, after all, Sofia had already lost her husband, and she was incredibly close to losing her son to cancer. Although this tale is in a collection about tricksters, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have trickster tales that are sad. Rather than their usual witty, entertaining journeys.
Crows are kind of fascinating birds. And although there are some more horror-inspired relations to them, I love their symbolic connection to tricksters. Anytime I read a story that mentions these birds in any way, shape or form, I feel completely drawn in. The fact that this short story not only included that aspect, but also a woman’s will to become something more than just a mother and a wife… well, I fell in love with it completely.
This is a nice, quick and fun poem. It’s an easy read, but one that has many hidden layers. I read it twice before I started trying to write this review. After all, the hidden layers were happy to tell me something new each and every re-read.
This isn’t like a lot of the trickster stories I’ve been reading recently. Instead of featuring a supernatural being of balance, this is a mortal woman who follows the sign of the trickster. But, unlike the supernatural beings that I’m so used to, she’s actually capable of change. The question of whether or not she’s willing to become something more than herself, something better, is what fills this story.
Game nights were kind of a big thing in my family when I was younger. Actually, they’re still kind of a big thing, although I’m not around as much to play now. They were always a great way to spend time together in a fun way. And, since we’re all more than a little competitive, a very fun, not to mention loud way to spend the night. So, a short story that features board games that I grew up playing and a trickster… it’s the kind of story that I was always going to love.
The mirror of folklore by using the idea of three aspects, or parts, of the trickster worked really well in this story. Part one tells the story of a young lady beseeching help from the trickster. Part two provides a little more of a mid-life crisis and lets you question the role of the trickster in the beginnings of the modern world. And, finally, part three highlights the end of an era, and the start of a new one. One in which the Trickster will either adapt and change or drown in the new world.
I have a slight obsession with bayous and creole culture. Every time I read stories surrounded by this, I’m unable to look away. They’re beautiful and fun and there is just… something about them that makes me deliriously happy. Which is why I loved this story so much. It had the feeling of a fairy tale but was filled with a cultural backdrop that I know next to nothing about, and always want to know more of.
We all know the feeling of not belonging. Of being a fish out of water, so to say. Sadly, not many of us necessarily know how to get rid of this feeling. And, sometimes when people are teenagers, they never move beyond this. Which is all the kinds of feelings that this short story reminded me of. The feeling of not belonging and loss. And, quite honestly, the suicide forest that I’ve heard of in Japan. It just had that beautifully and tragically eerie feeling to the tale that I just didn’t quite know what to do with.