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Rapunzel Analysis



Author: Poetry of Anne Sexton Type: Poetry Views: 1098

TransformationsA womanwho loves a womanis forever young.The mentorand the studentfeed off each other.Many a girlhad an old auntwho locked her in the studyto keep the boys away.They would play rummyor lie on the couchand touch and touch.Old breast against young breast...Let your dress fall down your shoulder,come touch a copy of youfor I am at the mercy of rain,for I have left the three Christs of Ypsilantifor I have left the long naps of Ann Arborand the church spires have turned to stumps.The sea bangs into my cloisterfor the politicians are dying,and dying so hold me, my young dear,hold me...The yellow rose will turn to cinderand New York City will fall inbefore we are done so hold me,my young dear, hold me.Put your pale arms around my neck.Let me hold your heart like a flowerlest it bloom and collapse.Give me your skinas sheer as a cobweb,let me open it upand listen in and scoop out the dark.Give me your nether lipsall puffy with their artand I will give you angel fire in return.We are two cloudsglistening in the bottle galss.We are two birdswashing in the same mirror.We were fair gamebut we have kept out of the cesspool.We are strong.We are the good ones.Do not discover usfor we lie together all in greenlike pond weeds.Hold me, my young dear, hold me.They touch their delicate watchesone at a time.They dance to the lutetwo at a time.They are as tender as bog moss.They play mother-me-doall day.A womanwho loves a womanis forever young.Once there was a witch's gardenmore beautiful than Eve'swith carrots growing like little fish,with many tomatoes rich as frogs,onions as ingrown as hearts,the squash singing like a dolphinand one patch given over wholly to magic --rampion, a kind of salad roota kind of harebell more potent than penicillin,growing leaf by leaf, skin by skin.as rapt and as fluid as Isadoran Duncan.However the witch's garden was kept lockedand each day a woman who was with childlooked upon the rampion wildly,fancying that she would dieif she could not have it.Her husband feared for her welfareand thus climbed into the gardento fetch the life-giving tubers.Ah ha, cried the witch,whose proper name was Mother Gothel,you are a thief and now you will die.However they made a trade,typical enough in those times.He promised his child to Mother Gothelso of course when it was bornshe took the child away with her.She gave the child the name Rapunzel,another name for the life-giving rampion.Because Rapunzel was a beautiful girlMother Gothel treasured her beyond all things.As she grew older Mother Gothel thought:None but I will ever see her or touch her.She locked her in a tow without a dooror a staircase. It had only a high window.When the witch wanted to enter she cried"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.Rapunzel's hair fell to the ground like a rainbow.It was as strong as a dandelionand as strong as a dog leash.Hand over hand she shinnied upthe hair like a sailorand there in the stone-cold room,as cold as a museum,Mother Gothel cried:Hold me, my young dear, hold me,and thus they played mother-me-do.Years later a prince came byand heard Rapunzel singing her loneliness.That song pierced his heart like a valentinebut he could find no way to get to her.Like a chameleon he hid himself among the treesand watched the witch ascend the swinging hair.The next day he himself called out:Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair,and thus they met and he declared his love.What is this beast, she thought,with muscles on his armslike a bag of snakes?What is this moss on his legs?What prickly plant grows on his cheeks?What is this voice as deep as a dog?Yet he dazzled her with his answers.Yet he dazzled her with his dancing stick.They lay together upon the yellowy threads,swimming through themlike minnows through kelpand they sang out benedictions like the Pope.Each day he brought her a skein of silkto fashion a ladder so they could both escape.But Mother Gothel discovered the plotand cut off Rapunzel's hair to her earsand took her into the forest to repent.When the prince came the witch fastenedthe hair to a hook and let it down.When he saw Rapunzel had been banishedhe flung himself out of the tower, a side of beef.He was blinded by thorns that prickled him like tacks.As blind as Oedipus he wandered for yearsuntil he heard a song that pierced his heartlike that long-ago valentine.As he kissed Rapunzel her tears fell on his eyesand in the manner of such cure-allshis sight was suddenly restored.They lived happily as you might expectproving that mother-me-docan be outgrown,just as the fish on Friday,just as a tricycle.The world, some say,is made up of couples.A rose must have a stem.As for Mother Gothel,her heart shrank to the size of a pin,never again to say: Hold me, my young dear,hold me,and only as she dreamed of the yellow hairdid moonlight sift into her mouth.





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