by Mathias Jansson

She walked there alone;
Dull dreary and lonesome
A Troll
A candle asleep in her bosom
The old story over again
Dead night
She struck a light,
Lit the candle,
And let the light shine
She woke up
Bewitched by night
Now I must live in a Castle
which stands East of the Sun
and West of the Moon

SOURCE: East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North by Kay Nielsen (Doubleday, 1976).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  I remember the collection East of the Sun and West of the Moon from my childhood. As a child, I interpreted these fairytales as adventures and a battle between the good and the evil. As an adult, I see new layers in the tales — as stories about hard tests and challenges for the main characters, often fighting alone with difficult moral questions, and as tales about growing up and taking responsibility for their own lives. This poem describes a young girl fighting with her inner darkness, but also addresses her hopes and dreams, symbolized by the candle she carries inside her.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mathias Jansson is a Swedish art critic and poet. He has contributed with visual poetry to magazines as Lex-ICON, Anatematiskpress, Quarter After #4 and Maintenant 8: A Journal of Contemporary Dada. He has also published a chapbook at this is visual poetry and contributed with erasure poetry to anthologies from Silver Birch Press. Visit him at his homepage and Amazon author page.