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Modern Interpretations of Bluebeard

Full-Text Fiction

The Seven Wives of Bluebeard
by Anatole France (1903)

Bluebeard's Ghost
by William Makepeace Thackeray (1843)

Bluebeard: A Musical Fantasy
by Kate Douglas Wiggin (1914)

Full-Text Poems

How the Helpmate of Blue-Beard Made Free with a Door
by Guy Wetmore Carryl

by George Colman, the Younger

Blue-Beard's Closet
by Rose Terry Cooke

Untitled [Bluebeard]
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

by Edna St. Vincent Millay



Bluebeard Poetry

Blue-Beard's Closet
by Rose Terry Cooke
(1827 - 1892)

Fasten the chamber!
Hide the red key;
Cover the portal,
That eyes may not see.
Get thee to market,
To wedding and prayer;
Labor or revel,
The chamber is there!

In comes a stranger-
"Thy pictures how fine,
Titian or Guido,
Whose is the sign?"
Looks he behind them?
Ah! have a care!
"Here is a finer."
The chamber is there!

Fair spreads the banquet,
Rich the array;
See the bright torches
Mimicking day;
When harp and viol
Thrill the soft air,
Comes a light whisper:
The chamber is there!

Marble and painting,
Jasper and gold,
Purple from Tyrus,
Fold upon fold,
Blossoms and jewels,
Thy palace prepare:
Pale grows the monarch;
The chamber is there!

Once it was open
As shore to the sea;
White were the turrets,
Goodly to see;
All through the casements
Flowed the sweet air;
Now it is darkness;
The chamber is there!

Silence and horror
Brood on the walls;
Through every crevice
A little voice calls:
"Quicken, mad footsteps,
On pavement and stair;
Look not behind thee,
The chamber is there!

Out of the gateway,
Through the wide world,
Into the tempest
Beaten and hurled,
Vain is thy wandering,
Sure thy despair,
Flying or staying,
The chamber is there!

from Poems (1861)

Rose Terry Cooke was an American poet, novelist, and short story writer.


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The Poets' Grimm edited by Beaumont and Carlson

Transformations by Anne Sexton

Secrets beyond the Door : The Story of Bluebeard and His Wives by Maria Tatar

Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang


©Heidi Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales
Page created 12/1998; Last updated 6/28/07