Fairy tales, like poems, are as much about their forms as they are the definition of their genre.
We’ll consider this idea for the evening, specifically how poems utilize two of what Kate Berheimer refers to as “the four elements of traditional fairy tales: flatness, abstraction, intuitive logic, and formalized magic.” How exactly can writers use flatness and abstraction to fashion engaging images? How do our sentences and scenes intuitively move? How does one “formalize magic,” anyway? Beginning with an overview of Bernheimer’s definitions, we’ll then use them to explore several contemporary poems as well as our own.
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