Monday, February 29, 2016

My lady love a warrior be

By THLaird Colyne Stewart, AS 50 (2016)

For Þorfinna.

My lady love a warrior be
With mighty arm of tempered steel;
No dainty rose that withers she—
She is Athena and I kneel
To gaze in wonder at her face,
Held close in awe by beau’tous grace.

Like iron are her hard-set legs
Where she blocks the bridge’s span,
Before her beaten foeman begs
While cheers are bellowed from her clan;
Beside her I am lost in space
Held close in awe by beau’tous grace.

Her fingers deft as dancing light
They throw a blade ‘cross open field,
Strong hit within the red so bright
And I, I find that I must yield,
For I am in the greatest place,
Held close in awe by beau’tous grace.

Written as a blazon. The blazon is an ordered poem of praise, or blame, usually directed towards a woman and praised her physical features using metaphors. The genre takes its name from the heraldic term “blazon” which forms the root of the word “emblazon” which means to celebrate or adorn (with heraldic markings). Though the term is from 16th century France, similar poems were being written by at least the 13th century.

I’ve written “My lady love a warrior be” in the same format as the famous blason “There Is a Garden in Her Face” by Thomas Campion (1567-1620). Like Campion I wrote three stanzas with a rhyme scheme of ababcC (where the C is the same line in each stanza). While blasons usually use metaphors to describe features such as hair, eyes, lips, teeth and breasts, I chose to praise my lady’s strength and compare her limbs to metals. The second stanza refers to an incident at a Pikeman’s Pleasure where, during a bridge battle, she single-handed pushed back a charge.

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