Tag Archives: Trigger Warning

Observing the Formalities by Neil Gaiman

Overview
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.

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Synopsis

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…

Thoughts

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…

 <- Molly ReviewThe Cinderella Game Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Witch Work by Neil Gaiman

Overview

Under My HatTitle: Witch Work
Author: Neil Gaiman
In: Under My Hat (Jonathan Strahan) & Trigger Warning (Neil Gaiman)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves:  Easy reading, Fantasy, Witches
Pace: Slow
Format: Poem
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: She sold calm seas to the mariners’ wives; Tied winds with silk cords so the storms could be tied there.

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Synopsis

This short poem is about an elderly witch who lives in a room filled with clocks. She would sell storms, sorrows, and calmed the sea. The narrator explains that he bought three sorrows. The first he gave to his enemy’s child, the second was made into a broth by his wife, and the third remains unused. Regardless of this, the witch’s life is in a box which makes her quite sorrowful. We are not told what makes the witch sad, but she always returns to her house full of clocks.

Thoughts

This was an unexpectedly layered poem in the middle of the Under My Hat anthology. And one that I enjoyed immensely. I actually read this three times, each time with a new meaning and nuance. And, like all good poetry, I think that the more chances I get to read this, the more hidden meanings I will find about what a witch’s work entails.

 <- Felidis Review The Education of a Witch Review ->
Image source: Frances Hardinge