Since I was very young, dolls have fascinated me. And I don’t mean that in a creepy I’ll-rip-your-head-off-pretty-dolly kind of way. I was one of those good kids who put clothes on their dolls. I felt uncomfortable if my doll wore a dress and had no underpants underneath.
I have a very large and fairly traditional doll collection, and I store them in my guest room. Many guests are completely creeped out by dolls. You should see the looks they give me when I show them the bed they have to sleep on–with a big wall of dolls staring at them all night long! For me, though, most of them are beautiful and not so very creepy.
But as an adult I realize that dolls have a lot more potential than I had credited them with before. They can mean all kinds of things to us: good, bad, creative, destructive.
My poetry manuscript contains a surprising amount of poems about dolls. I wrote one and then I wrote another and then the doll voices and stories kept coming at me. Through writing the poems I’ve uncovered a lot I didn’t know about dolls. As I wrote the poems, I began to realize the creep factor of dolls, as well as all the different ways dolls speak to me. It’s impossible, though, to sum up here what is shown with more vividness in the poems.
Since I’m working on the manuscript now and in honor of Halloween, I’ll share a few creepy doll images with you.
A few years ago I found this wonderful doll art on the internet. They apparently were created by Kelley Richardson. Her out-of-date blog is found here.
One of those doll dioramas is the subject of a poem I am including in my manuscript. Can you guess which doll/shadowbox I wrote about?
Here is the link or just click the photo above.
As a nod to tradition, here is a photo taken by my grandfather’s uncle over 100 years ago of some children, presumed to be relatives. The two girls are clutching their dolls.
I guess it’s a little creepy to realize the dolls might have outlasted the girls.