Castles & Gowns is about honoring your father and honoring your husband. It concerns how the 2 different relationships, one as a child at home and one as a wife can conflict. This conflict can grow worse when your father dies. If you can identify with this poem and commentary, and have any thoughts you would like to share, please send us an email. We would love to hear from you.

Castles & Gowns

 

Long ago when little girls

Grew up in castles

And tiny curls

Brushed their eyes

They walked beside

Their Daddy’s side

 

On sunny days

When flags so high

Waved peacefully

Up in the sky

A little girl

Became her Daddy’s pride

 

Long ago when little girls

Grew up in castles

And longer curls

Brushed their gowns

They walked beside

Their Daddy’s side

 

On sunny days

When flags so high

Waved peacefully

Up in the sky

A young lady

Became her Daddy’s pride

 

Long ago when little girls

Dreamed of a prince

Their mind would swirl

With hope that someday

They would walk

At his side

 

On sunny days

When castles and gowns

Brought everyone

From all around

They watched a lady leave

Her Daddy’s side

 

Long ago when little girls

Grew up and then

Became a wife

They worked so hard

To build a life

At their prince’s side

 

On sunny days

When flags so high

Waved peacefully

Up in the sky

A wife remembered

She was her Daddy’s pride

 

Long ago when little girls

Grew up and then

Became a wife

The little girl

Still lived at home

Deep within her heart

 

On sunny days

When flags so high

Waved peacefully

She would cry

A young lady

At her prince’s side

 

Long ago when little girls

Grew up and then

Became a wife

They wished a lot

For days gone by

At their Daddy’s side

 

On sunny days

When castles and gowns

Brought everyone

From all around

They watched a lady leave

Her Daddy’s side

 

  • Castles & Gowns Commentary
  •  

    This poem isn’t really about living in the past, although it could be one of the themes. The main thrust of the poem is the difficulty the wife has respecting her husband if she has a tendency to compare her “prince” to her “king.”

     

    If her dad (“king”) was rich, it will be very hard for a “prince” to compete. If her dad was smart, her prince may be on the dense side. I think the husband feels this pressure to try and measure up, but how can a “prince” measure up to a “king?”

     

    Some women may never find a suitable husband because the “prince” just can’t be near the man that their Daddy was. As a woman they may fall in love with a prince, but as a little girl their “prince” may never be good enough to usurp the throne of the “king” (who still rules their past life and memories of growing up).

     

    The “most admired man” is always in question because there is a conflict between the views of a little girl and a woman. The childhood “king” is hidden in the depths of the heart of a woman who is learning to love her “prince.” I think unintentionally the wife can put forth expectations of her “prince” that are unfair and that place undue pressure on her spouse.

     

    The Bible says, “Husbands, love your wives, and wives, respect your husbands” (Ephesians 5:33). I think it is very difficult for a wife to respect her husband after living together for several years, especially if her husband has given her some good reasons not to respect him. I also think that the thing that husbands need most is respect and the thing that wives need most is love. Respect doesn’t mean that you don’t have your own opinions, or that you are less than the man is. It is just acknowledging the good qualities about your husband and dwelling on those. If a woman had a really good Dad, then it may be hard to respect her husband because of wanting to compare them.

     

    Building a life together is very hard, very complicated, and very discouraging sometimes. Maybe what both partners could do is sit down and come up with realistic expectations given the situation they are in.

     

    When we leave our homes, the good memories tend to dominate our thoughts, and we might wish we could go back to the past. This could be amplified if your father has died.

    When we live with someone, we face their flaws and their good side every day. It is like being on the battlefield some days.

     

    If you are expecting your “prince” to be as great as your “king,” you are comparing apples to oranges. Your husband may feel a lot of pressure to measure up. But he will never be your Dad, and he will never be able to give you the security and wonder you had as a child. That is a precious memory, but now you are an adult on the front lines with a “prince,” not a “king.”

     

    And hopefully, with time and patience, you will both make a significant contribution to the world around you as you leave the security and wonder of “castles and gowns.”

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Blue Ballerina” was written for those who have lost someone because of a crime.