The Rose in the Bell Jar

August 29, 2012
By antleydiana BRONZE, Hubbardsville, New York
antleydiana BRONZE, Hubbardsville, New York
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The rose in the bell jar—such a lovely thing,
As red as blood and fragrant as spring.
But oh, why, my victimized friend
Should that rose dictate where your fate will extend?

The rose hovers, lips pursed, in its safe, glass cage,
Demanding you change and dismissing your rage.
But what earns a rose the right to oppress?
Its crown of allure? The scarlet folds in its dress?

Why should the rose sit throned in its jar,
Watching contemptuously as your life falls apart?
That self-righteous bud knows no more than you
About having a heart good, open and true.

Kind Daisies fell dead near the end of fall.
Morning Glories blackened without glory at all.
But this bloom—guarded by thick castle walls—
Showboats itself with intent to enthrall.

“Look beyond what you see,” you were boldly told,
Then given a mistress gorgeous and cold.
“What a laugh! What a joke!” you lament woefully,
For however could a rose know what you may be?

The author's comments:
"Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle. Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. But then, one winter's night, an old beggar woman came to the castle and offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold. Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the prince sneered at the gift and turned the old woman away. But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within. And when he dismissed her again, the old woman's ugliness melted away to reveal a beautiful enchantress. The prince tried to apologize, but it was too late, for she had seen that there was no love in his heart. And as punishment, she transformed him into a hideous beast and placed a powerful spell on the castle and all who lived there. Ashamed of his monstrous form, the beast concealed himself inside his castle, with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world. The rose she had offered was truly an enchanted rose, which would bloom until his 21st year. If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time. As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever learn to love a beast?"
-Beauty and the Beast (1991)

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