Many moons and suns ago when the Nymphs of the West
Tended and guarded the Garden of the Hesperides,
In the city of Alcantara, there lived a king, the most
Loving father of all who loved his only child in spades,
So utterly ugly in every possible variety of imaginations
That her presence made the beholders into muted stones.
They called her Ugly Altamira, but the king called her Love,
Showering her with Bounty of Beauty, Treats of Tenderness,
Telling her how beautiful she was as a magic spell of love.
Whereas the princess in her father’s glamour spell drove men away –
Prince Alanbam, the hundred knights in armors, and the barber –
All fleeing with horrors of taking her hand and kissing her lips.
Then the king told the princess to marry the Church in a veil
To which she retorted, “I will not marry the Church but find
A husband in the land beyond the sea where the day never dawns
And the night is eternal, so beauty is seen common in darkness.”
Therewith, the princess amounted her beautiful white horse
For departure to the land of equality when the elegant figure
Suddenly appeared at the gate of the castle whose visage was
Beaming with beatific beauty with a voice sonorous and melodious.
Felisberto, the blind fiddler, exclaimed in the bliss of love mysterious:
“Princess, you need not look anywhere else but to behold one
To whom night and day, ugliness and beauty are all but one.
Since all your suitors are too bashful to marry you so beautiful,
Allow me to be of your service as a husband who makes you happy,
For beauty is as beauty does, so is the pleasure of love in all fancy.
Thereupon, the princess dismounted her beautiful white horse
walked to the handsome fiddler and touched the beautiful face
of the man with tenderness and love full of passion and felicity
by which the man became ecstatic with the sensuous touch
of the delicate beauty of the princess and kissed her tenderly.
Thereafter, the princess and the fiddler married and lived happily
In a castle from the window from which they could see the Hesperides
Water the garden of divine golden apples and dance around the tree always.
P.S. The subject matter of this poem comes from a Spanish folktale of ‘The Ugly Princess” who was so homely that everyone except her loving father couldn’t stand the sight of her presence as though she had been a violation against the natural law. The father’s indoctrination of confidence as a positive reinforcement into his daughter is worth noting as a proto-clinical behavioral therapy in relieving the patient’s depressive obsession with her unattractive physical trait. In fact, the king’s therapy was so successful that the daughter’s identification with prime beauty that was deemed too high for the underserved was remarkable and seemed simply magical.
From movies to novels to the profiles of the authors and of the administrators of social media platforms, the social spencersim of the beautiful champions the law of attraction, whether or not you will vehemently disagree with that usual enforcement of the mantra of self-confidence equipped with a feminist armor and a diversity-rule shield. For beauty gives confidence to a woman in a social setting, and that’s the truth. No wonder folklore treats beautiful women as a rewarding virtue that handsome men are worth fighting for.
Although the ending of the Ugly Princess is unrefutably sweet and happy, I cannot help but relate it to the ending of ‘Plain Girl’, by Arthur Miller – review in which the not so attractive but intelligent protagonist Janice Sasson ultimately finds the consummate love of eros and psyche in the figure of the handsome blind musician. Does the happiness that Janice so cherished have to be in the form of blindness? Can’t a woman deprived of glamour and the matching social adroitness meet and fall in love with a handsome man full of warmth, tenderness, and understanding? Does it have to be a blind man to whom nothing is different, hence an absence of beauty is acceptable? Does love agree at best only at night?