Sunday, May 3, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 99 - Smiles Saved For the Banquet


Here is my latest found poem. I've taken this from a writing exercise I did almost a decade ago, when I found a wonderful writers' group in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

We met at one another's homes, once a month. We would do writing exercises, and then share pieces of writing we'd been working on. I so enjoyed finding this group. They helped me stay sane when I'd moved from the Big City of Toronto to a fishing town of 8000.

This poem visits one of my favorite stories - the King Arthur/Guinevere/Launcelot love triangle.

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Smiles Saved For the Banquet


Arthur
Turned in the archway
His face shadowed
By the lowering sun

"It is said
You are often found weeping."


"By whom
My lord?"

Guinevere asked
Her tone flat

"By the court.
The servants.
By most,
In fact."


"It is a lonely time
For me, these
Wet months. It
Turns my mind
To my own home."


"So many years away.
It still brings tears?"

Arthur
Took a step into
The room, still feeling
The heavy distance
Between them.

"A woman's world
Is her home,
My lord.
I have no children
To comfort me
Here. My mind
Turns to those days
When I thought
A child was part of
My future. That
Is all."


"So you
Do weep
Then?"


"All women weep
Sire.
Especially
In our rooms
When we are left to
Ourselves.
We save our smiles
For the banquet
And the garden.
We allow our sighs
When we are
Private.
Tis of no
Consequence."


"It is to me,
Lady."

Arthur
Walked to his queen
And stood before her.
"I should like
To take you from
These shadows
If they wring such
Sorrow
From you."


- Julia Smith, 2009 / original piece written April, 2000

Painting: Queen Guinevere by William Morris

Michelle Johnson says I felt as though I was transported back in time.

Thomma Lyn says Wow. I love the Arthur / Guinevere dynamic.

Anthony North says Ah, so much of western cultural output comes from the Arthurian legends.

10 comments:

Michelle Johnson said...

What an excellent poem. I felt as though I was transported back in time. Well done. Have a nice night.

Thomma Lyn said...

Wow. I love the Arthur / Guinevere dynamic, and oh, what a beautiful poem about a man who truly loves his wife, who truly cares what she is feeling. Her more painful feelings are never an inconvenience to him, they truly matter. She need not cover them with a forced smile. And that is how it should be -- freedom to express with one's beloved, freedom to feel and not be judged harshly or cut off emotionally.

Thanks for sharing. :)

anthonynorth said...

Ah, so much of western cultural output comes from the Arthurian legends. And it has rarely been bettered.

Julia Smith said...

Michelle - Thanks!

Thomma Lyn - The thing I like best about the Arthur/Guinever/Launcelot dynamic is the basic affection all three have for one another. It makes their love triangle so much more compelling because no one's the obvious villain.

Anthony - *blushing*

Amy Ruttan said...

I love the Arthurian Legends.

Andy Sewina said...

Dead good! That Arthur's some guy! But, I bet Guinevere knows a thing or two, too! Well reported!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

OMG, Julia. The tenderness and love here... WOW.

I wish this had been part of the original Camelot story. Or maybe it was and we just don't know 'cause it's been lost over time.

I'd sure like to think love was part of things for them.

Travis said...

The Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot tale is one of my favorites, especially when it is interwoven into another story, such as Guy Gavriel Kay does in his Fionnavar Tapestry series.

gautami tripathy said...

I simply love your historical poetry. It takes back into time!


opposites

Julia Smith said...

Amy - But you have exquisite taste!

Andy - You really are a sweet talking guy!

Susan - You're making me blush!

Travis - I haven't read Guy Gavriel Kay, though I've always been meaning to.

Gautami - Thanks!