Poetry. Erasure Poetry. In these poems, Yocom offers a new vision of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's "All Kinds Of Fur," a little-known version of Cinderella that rarely appears in fairy tale collections since it opens with a widowed father who demands to marry his daughter. Wearing a mantle of rough furs, the heroine flees from the dangers at home into the forest where she meets a neighboring king's hunters who take her to the castle kitchen. She toils there for years, until she hears the music of that first ball. Using the contemporary poetic practice of erasure, Yocom erases some of the Grimms words by changing their font color to gray. The remaining words in black form the new poems that reveal the young woman's own story of how she journeyed to a new, full life. The book includes an Afterword where Yocom discusses the tale, her translation of it, and her erasure writing process.
"Open this book and enter a world of danger, transformation, and tactical survival—a multi-layered, multi-voiced telling of 'Allerleirauh' / 'All Kinds Of Fur,' a Brothers Grimm tale you most likely have not met, a 'Cinderella' version with incest. In a new translation, Margaret Yocom first brings us this forgotten tale, stocked, as we'd expect, with kings, rings, beasts, and betrayals. She then, through erasure, lures out of its darkness another voice—the voice of 'All Kinds Of Fur' herself, lying hidden within its words. In keeping with traditions of wonder tales, erasure practice poses riddles and embodies paradoxes—adding by subtracting, listening by looking, redrawing the boundaries of author and reader, teller and told. Enter this forest. Voice what you see. Is it sunlight in shadow, or a sudden shadow cutting through light?"—Susan Tichy
"Some tales—the old ones, the magical ones—wander the borderlands between our inchoate unconscious and the day-lit logic of our lives, not to keep those realms separate, but to insure something of our dark interiors leaks up into the measured day and, by the trespass, keeps the fathomless open. Margaret Yocom's book gives us a new translation of one such tale, demonstrating beautifully how it is desire and fear, care and threat, humility and humiliation, love and grief, are entangled in such ways they might be the source of that knot we call mind. But Yocom does more than give us a tale we've always known even if now we're reading it for the first time. In her erasure of the tale, she shows us that a text, just like our own minds, has its own hidden inner life, and its own unconscious depths, a mind within the mind, a heart within the heart, a hearth within a hearth. It is a magical and necessary vision, one our culture now, in its incessant surfacing, deeply needs—this reminder, that beneath every depth, there is a deeper deep; and beneath every dark, a darker dark. It is in this dark that ALL KINDS OF FUR teaches us to see."—Dan Beachy-Quick
"These poems are haunted by what Yocom makes invisible by her erasures; what she makes visible has different bones. The incest in the fairy tale variously translated as 'All Fur' or 'Donkeyskin' shows through the skin without the 's': kin. I have used these poems in my fairy tale course to introduce students to a tradition whose dark side has been erased, in other ways, by numerous editors and publishers—and which KIN S FUR restores. Are we not all, like these fairy tale beings, humanimals?"—Katharine Young
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Margaret Yocom grew up in the Pennsylvania German farmland listening to her grandparents' stories. Her poetry has appeared in the Beloit Poetry Journal, the anthology The Folklore Muse: Poetry, Fiction, and Other Reflections by Folklorists, and elsewhere. She founded the Folklore Studies Program of George Mason University where she taught for 36 years; among her many courses, she offered "Living Words: Folklore and Creative Writing." She has published on the Brothers Grimm, on the folk arts of political protest, on Inuit storytelling in northwest Alaska, on family folklore, and on the folk arts of Maine logging communities. Co-founder of the American Folklore Society's Creative Writing and Storytelling Section, she holds a PhD in English and folklore from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. A founding member of Western Maine Storytelling, she tells legendary tales of the seen—and the unseen. Co-organizer of the Hugh Ogden Memorial Evening of Poetry, she makes her home with her geologist husband, John Slack, in the western mountains of Maine.Author City: FARMINGTON, ME USA