Friday, July 26, 2013

Ask Baba Yaga: All I Can Think About Is Getting Married

Bony Legs by Joanna Cole
I'm guessing Baba Yaga has had girls ask this question more than once (!) in her long life, so her reply is... refreshingly blunt. ;) 

This week's question and answer (via poet and oracle Taisia Kitaiskaia* of The Hairpin):

(Originally posted at The Hairpin HERE)
My favorite responses so far:
  • Ahra Yaga, I in az oo uyessted, ang now i'm no clozher to ang anszher, and now I have no teesh and no awddy to uh-phhpt. I hate oo Ahra Yaga. (Emby)
  • Sometimes on the first read, I think the punctuation is emoticons. Like her "wench" comes with a good-natured smile and she winks at the end to let us know it's all in fun. (SarahP)
  • "Deathlove pond" is a spot-on description of the state of love/infatuation. No sootheengs shall there be, wench, indeed. (Jocasta Carr)
  • As someone who is currently in their mid-twenties, ambitious, independent, and idiotically in love with and desirous of marrying someone I've only just started dating (3 dates!) I desperately wanted there to be a real answer to this question and read it knowing that this feature does not actually provide advice and am yet somehow still disappointed that I did not receive any... 
    Although in retrospect "the longing & wondering is half the joy of this deathlove pond you've a-stumbled into" is pretty much the same thing as the "Enjoy it, this is the exciting part!" all my friends have given me. So there's that. (Titania)
Dear Emby: Ouch. I hope you have a good dentist, for the sake of your love life and eating apples... 
Dear Titania: *brushes milkweed gently out of your hair*...Have fun!
And I would have to agree with a sentiment that pops up every week in at least one of the comments: This is one of the best advice columns ever!

What do you think of Baba Yaga's advice?

Want to ask Baba Yaga a question of your own?
You can!
There's now an email address where you can send your questions
directly to Baba Yaga herself.
AskBabaYaga AT gmail DOT com
To encourage Baba Yaga to continue imparting her no-bones-about-it wisdom (ok, there may be some gristle in there... bones too), I suggest we not to leave her box empty... 

Thank you Baba Yaga (& Taisia).

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. Born in Russia and raised in America, she's had her poems and translations published in Narrative Magazine, Poetry International, and others.


  1. I am writing poems based on the Baba Yaga advice. This was the first one. God I love this BY stuff.

    Baba Yaga Answers

    "Ask me the real question when you see it peering"—Ask Baba Yaga website

    I am not so eager to know the Baba’s answers.
    They will be hard kernels between my teeth.
    Biting down becomes a question of physics,
    a reply only dentists can give.

    I feel something stone-like under my tongue,
    rough-edged, slightly salty,
    like a loosened tooth, like a question.
    I wish it were your tongue.

    Perhaps that is the answer I am seeking.
    The only answer.

    ©2013 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

    1. ! I almost feel as if I just got a double dosing of Baba Yaga advice! And now I have visions of the Baba peering at me through multiple mirrors, stabbing my chest with her bony finger and clawed nails until I admit the "real". *shudder* Is it strange I should find it delicious?
      I'm so glad to find people are being inspired by Taisia's "oracling". I so delighted to have her here. Thank you for sharing your response! (I have passed it along in case she hasn't had a chance to check in here.)

    2. *I'm* so delighted to have her here!

  2. Hard to decide what I love more - the Baba Yaga advice or the Jane Yolen reply! I got The Moon Ribbon for Christmas when I was eight and have been hooked on fairy tales both old and new ever since.

    1. The Moon Ribbon! I still have to track this one down to add it to my own library.. one day I will have them all - all! - ALL! (Talk about impossible tasks - I feel like this is the big one Baba Yaga has given me to do...) :)