"Fat Is Not a Fairy Tale," and "Kawaku Anansi Walks the World’s Web," by Jane Yolen


For reasons that are not entirely clear to me sf/f/h writers who write poetry and prose for the children's markets are not perceieved as sf/f/h writers but as 'children's writers. Now a sf/f/h writer who writes for ya markets is less likely to be perceived as a 'ya' writer but the two letters of y and a always seems to be attached to them. Now there are some sf/f/h writers who have transcended the limiting appelations of being a ya writer or a children's writer.

Andre Norton was one.

Jane Yolen is most emphatically another.

Her poetry has appeared and been honored in children, young adult and adult markets. Just like her prose. Below are two sf/f poems by her -- one that illustrates what she does for ya markets and one that illustrates what she does for children's markets.

Fat Is Not a Fairy Tale

I am thinking of a fairy tale,
Cinder Elephant,
Sleeping Tubby,
Snow Weight,
where the princess is not
anorexic, wasp-waisted,
flinging herself down the stairs.
I am thinking of a fairy tale,
Hansel and Great,
Bounty and the Beast,
where the beauty
has a pillowed breast,
and fingers plump as sausage.
I am thinking of a fairy tale
that is not yet written,
for a teller not yet born,
for a listener not yet conceived,
for a world not yet won,
where everything round is good:
the sun, wheels, cookies, and the princess.

Copyright 2000 by Jane Yolen.
fFom Such a Pretty Face
Meisha-Merlin Publishing, Inc

Kawaku Anansi Walks the World’s Web

Ashanti trickster/culture hero, also called 'the Spider'
Come a-walking
Kwaku Anansi, the spider man,
Come a-walking
Kwaku Anansi, the tricksy one.
He brings stories from the sky god,
So we may learn beginnings,
So we may learn endings
He brings us the sun, the moon, the rains,
The division between day and night.
He brings the small grains
And the shovel.
He tricks us into believing in ourselves,
In our brains, our hearts, our pulses.
He teaches us to unlock locked boxes,
To grab the calabash of life,
To be clever if we cannot be wise,
To star in our own (hi)stories.
He teaches us how to fling ourselves
Into the void, using only the web.
Kwaku Anansi, and tell us a tale.

©2007 Jane Yolen
From The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales, Viking