I am not a big reader or writer of poetry, finding much of it too obtuse and unintelligible. I enjoy reading that transports me to places without too much effort from me. I was a little unsure, therefore how I would cope with this poem, but, open-minded, I began to read.
My first impression was the simplicity of structure and the ease of general understanding. Despite my now being aware of some of the words’ meanings (ratel, for example), the entire feel of the poem was still strongly flowing. The words in this case were decorative and attractive as well as functional.
My primary thought was that the writing was not aimed at children, though could be read and understood on an alternative level by them. To me, the work was a salutory warning for young ladies not to become involved with rough young men for fear their health, complexion and hair will grey and age and that ultimately death will occur. Cherries, plums, peaches and melons are all sexually charges words now and they abound within the offerings of the goblins. The addictive power of sexual gifts threatens to overtake Laura till she and Lizzie stand strong against it – and their sisterhood defeats the forced, bullying manipulative goblins.