The Emporium Gazette
Issue 45 -- January 2003

Poetry World ~ Fractured Fairy Tales
by Bob Nailor

Fractured fairy tales. What an interesting concept; especially for the poet.

Did anyone conjure up Rocky and Bullwinkle? If not, then you're too young. I loved the Fractured Fairy Tales and the "alternate history" of Mr. Peabody, it made me think.

What is a fractured fairy tale? The taking of a familiar character, plot or setting from a traditional fairy tale to create another version. In other words, altering the story line, adding an unexpected twist or spin on the accepted version. Normally it is an experimental project with parody, irony and satire doing the strong work.

The same can hold true in the poetic world. If we apply the above logic to poetry, we can take any poem and fracture it.

Here's an example:

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

Now for the fractured version:

Jack and Jill went up the hill.
Each had a quarter.
Jill came down with fifty cents.
Did they go up for water?

Granted a bit risque, but you smiled and remembered the original from your youth.

Here's a couple more fractures.

Hickory, dickory, dock.
Three mice ran up the clock.
The clock struck one.
The other two escaped with minor bruises.

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick.
Just jumped over the..
"Hey, that burned!"

If you think this is difficult, visit the following site to see what some 2nd graders have done.

Yes, I realize that I've dealt with nursery rhymes, but the same holds true to almost any poetic endeavor. Another example? "Account Of A Visit From St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore (and now thought to be by Maj. Henry Livingston Jr) has been through many fractures. I've read a version involving Mayor Barry of Washington, DC, an Italian Mafia style version, an Easter Bunny version, and a rather ribald version involving - er, well, let's just say, there are many, many fractures on that particular poem.

Many of the classic poems, sonnets, and epics have been re-versed to a fracture methodology for our reading edification and humor. These little ditties travel the internet over and over again because we love to laugh and smile.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Fracture a poem
Just for you.

Have fun. You may just find a new niche for your poetic prowfess.

Bob Nailor is author of "The Secret Voice," an Amish-Christian story, "Pangaea, Eden Lost," an adventure story, "Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold," a Celtic fantasy, and "2012: Timeline Apocalypse," an end-of-time tale. He is also included in several anthologies and collections. Check his website at

Copyright 1999-2018 by the Emporium Gazette

No portion of any article or other writing in this electronic publication may be copied, used or otherwise taken by any person or organization for any purpose or reason whatsoever without the express written permission of the Emporium Gazette.

Contact Bob Nailor at Lore @
Just be sure to remove spaces from around '@'
Be sure to state "Emporium Gazette Request" in Subject Header