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Boleyn, crowned (free verse)

May 25, 2012

Perhaps the smallest swagger is allowed.

Beneath the billowing cloth of gold
-breezy, triumphant-
the widest smirk.

Behind these eyes a ticking stratagem
twisted, furled and cast athwart his bows,
pallored refinement
blanching the innocent.

A stance to emulate – regal redemption
in the complex footwork of a Galliard
performed with multiplexed, bedded,
bravado.

Despite, despite and despite
his marriage vows, his anointed queen,
his Catherine, I grow tall before
the crowded courtiers who kneel
to Boleyn

Queen Anne
gazing upon her lovers, myriad, deposed
(still warm,
still wet)
for vaulting, sceptred history –

an embrace to fling around my clutching
arms in cooler winters,
unwinding hollow
like these seeded
pearls.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Linking to tonight’s dVerse Poetics theme: Herstory 5.8.12 http://wp.me/p1GTyJ-10K

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32 Comments
  1. ❤ the last stanza! 🙂

  2. Despite, despite and despite >> yes that works for me v well… have to say I’m wavering over which version Iike better now…

    • great.. I like a good waver.. 🙂 Thanks for the help with the despites.. What a great subject.

  3. I watched that series when it came out and I recorded it again recently and was watching it again today; the despite and despite and despite is sufficient and sufficient, it is gorgeous, also the use of Boleyn…. i grow tall….it is like a brand mark to support, and we forget that these are people and that history is written by the victors. I guess the thing is that when she was standing there about to get her head cut off it struck me she was still a very beautiful person. Circumstances intervene and attention waivers and then all of that is lost. Anyway, this was the high point of the poem, and all the things you did to get to that.

    Queen Anne
    gazing upon her lovers, myriad, deposed
    (still warm,
    still wet)
    for vaulting, sceptred history –

    • Thanks Dan… was that The Tudors you were watching? There’s been a lot of interest in Henry and the wives and the awful power he had.. I recently finished reading Hilary Mantel’s sequel to Wolf Hall – Bring Up the Bodies – referring to the 5 men who were executed as her lovers. Certainly trumped up charges for H’s convenience.. but may have been some truth in it. How can we know? She’s a wonderful writer, grit and flourish, quite poetic and so good at unpleasant characters – story told through Cromwell’s eyes.

      Any way, just a little aside there. Thank you for your appreciative comments. I’m very happy to know that the poem engaged you.

  4. was thinking this felt a little familiar…so there was another version? maybe i read that one…love the little touches….(still warm and wet) gave me a smile…i grow tall before…as well…nice….check out david barkers for poetics, he did her as well for his…smiles…

    • Yep… the sonnet version is the previous post on this blog and yes, I’d linked it to OLN. There’s so much to be said about these women, buried under other people’s versions of their stories. Thanks for the chance to give this one an outing and for reading – happy to hear your responses.

      Yes, I really enjoyed db’s Anne – quite a contrasting approach and a fascinating poem.

  5. This stanza really worked for me … though the whole piece read like an exquisite medieval dance.

    Queen Anne
    gazing upon her lovers, myriad, deposed
    (still warm,
    still wet)
    for vaulting, sceptred history –

    • That’s a lovely way to describe it – wonderful to hear that’s how it struck you. Thank you!

  6. Really nice… I especially like the ending.

  7. Very, very nice. Loved the last two stanzas, and the ‘despite, despite, despite’ worked for me too 🙂

  8. “A stance to emulate – regal redemption
    in the complex footwork of a Galliard
    performed with multiplexed, bedded,
    bravado”

    –rounding out the moment with Courage, strength, and a choice of performance is a fine and poetic addition to history.

  9. great poem becky…Despite, despite and despite…loved it…def. works…

  10. Thanks, Claudia, great to hear that.

  11. hedgewitch permalink

    Opening line is such a perfect hook, and the reel-in just picks up pace.Third stanza really is brilliant, and on to the close–Ann had poor luck playing the Game of Thrones, but she certainly put her money where her mouth was…(and I probably shouldn’t have gone there, should I?) Some excellent writing here, Becky–enjoyed it thoroughly.

    • haha… love your slip of the tongue there, Joy… Great to hear your responses – thank you – with that particular husband, there was only ever going to be one victor. All power ultimately in his hands.

  12. Oh my gosh, this is incredible! First off, I love her—I must confess. I adored that show and miss it much now.

    “bedded,
    bravado” … This is probably key. For all her arrogance and swagger, certainly more than a bit was bravado. She hid it well, though.

    Love this:
    “Queen Anne
    gazing upon her lovers, myriad, deposed
    (still warm,
    still wet)
    for vaulting, sceptred history”

    And oh my word, your ending well expresses her power and sexual prowess. 🙂

    “an embrace to fling around my clutching
    arms in cooler winters,
    unwinding hollow
    like these seeded
    pearls.”

    • Yes, Shawna, I’ve read a few accounts of her life over the years and The Tudors (if that’s the show you mean) gives a very specific view of her. How can we possibly know? I enjoyed thinking about how she might have felt after all the machinations to become queen.. assuming that she had been a prime mover in those (it may not have been like that at all of course).

      I’ve taken many liberties, including overlaying the final stanza with a sense of what her fate was to be. Glad you enjoyed it.

  13. Poor Anne has become such a powerful archetype… Love the ending

  14. strange world

  15. this is very sexual, from the swagger, to growing tall, to the pearls and where they might go…

    very sensitive and rich verse. 🙂

    events cocatenated

    • Thanks, Tammy, yes, I wanted this Anne to have a swagger… she must have felt victorious at this point of the tragic game.

  16. “A stance to emulate – regal redemption
    in the complex footwork of a Galliard
    performed with multiplexed, bedded, bravado.” this is a great stanza !
    and such a fantastic ending !!
    “an embrace to fling around my clutching
    arms in cooler winters,
    unwinding hollow
    like these seeded
    pearls.” I enjoyed this !! crowned indeed !!

  17. Despite and despite and despite…love the opening line, the final almost regretful stanza (and of course the fourth). Thank you.

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