Prepare to take a journey into the land of fairy tales with Jeannine Hall Gailey in her collection of poems, Unexplained Fevers. Beware, these aren’t your standard fairy tales. Gailey explores an interesting view on the classics such as Snow White, Rapunzel, and Hansel and Gretel–to name a few–and writes from the point of view of the characters. She takes those who are portrayed as meek, or needing rescuing, and instead fills them with strength and makes their dire circumstances of their own doing. Take Sleeping Beauty, for example:
They say she waits for a kiss
but she’s the one who planted those briars,
who fed her dog sleeping pills
and shut herself away. I mean, she could
wake up if she wanted. (from “Sure, Beauty Sleeps,” p. 36)
Gailey’s focus on Sleeping Beauty and Snow White throughout this collection takes us deeper into the mind behind the beauty, and gives new answers to the question, “What happens after they are rescued?” She uses a commanding feminine perspective not only in her updated version of these fables, but in day-to-day life occurrences, as well. This collection is the perfect read for a brisk winter day. Enjoy your cup of tea with a side of fresh perspective.