Letters to Stories: Inside “Fairy Tale”

By Simon Heywood

This poem is quite different from the others, where instead of diving deep into my feelings and past, it just skims the surface. This poem doesn’t go into any specifics, and for that, besides having the title be part of a line like three times, it really represents what a “fairy tale” is, especially for children.

“Fairy Tale” was written when I felt so many different emotions at once when I couldn’t sleep one night, and very recently, and I couldn’t really tell why I was feeling what I was feeling, but just what I was feeling. The title of this poem was actually inspired by a Japanese Pop song from the now disbanded vocal group Kalafina, and their song Fairytale.

With this poem, I decided to do what every writing teacher despises their students for doing, which was to keep it very broad. In some ways, that’s what a fairy tale is. It’s a whimsical story, and while we follow the story of the “hero”, we never take into account how deep their journey actually is. A fairy tale is what every child would want to read because of the beauty and allure; the writing is not blunt, but graceful and, in many ways, elusive. I wanted to take the overall feel of that and just twist it just a tiny bit and add a little darkness. The structure is there, but the content has been warped.

This poem really plays off the same pattern as my poem “Wish,” where it shows the longing for something. For that reason, this poem could be falsely viewed as a second or even third part to that poem (sorry “Fairy Tale”, “Aftershock has that “second” spot).

I wanted this poem to really represent the “fog” I’ve been feeling lately. It seems to feel light, but the mystery and uncertainty is what really packs the punch in the work (and in my life). It’s almost like a singer-songwriter writing a song with a beautiful title and is set in a very light key, but the lyrics are actually very dark and depressing. However, in this case, the words of this poem are not quite dark, but are just tiny tastes of it.

This “fog” I’ve been feeling really sheds a light on how I actually distaste instability. I strongly sought after stability (in all aspects of my life), and my own sense of structure, which is always tested. It’s like the only stable thing in my life right now is this “fog,” which just feels weird. In this poem, the “fog” are the questions, and it only gets heavier, making the wish for a fairy tale world stronger.

Fairy Tale is out now on my Instagram. Poems are released weekly on my feed on Sundays or Mondays.

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