Friday, 16 July 2010

Jealous women

Something random inspired by a trip to the National Portrait Gallery and the odd placing of portraits of Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots together.

The body of a weak and feeble woman left me many centuries ago,
But my heart remains,
Trapped within a canvas, behind the glass,
never defined in life by man,
No Dudley, no Alencon, No Anjou,
Even my father gave up that ghost

but always and forever by her,

In the frame next to mine

I have majesty, she mystery
I command this room, I dominate
the landscape and yet...

the faceless multitude stare at us both
Seeing me in the context of her,
They change in height and dress
We never do
They glance - slightly fearful at me
Whilst they smile at her

Does she still manage the magic?
The sensual charm from her darkened eyes?
Does she draw even these men to the enseamed sheets of her luxurious bed?

Would they kill for her?
Would they die for me?

I remain here
Always aware
as in life
of her majesty, of her sisterhood, of her divinity

I'll feel it seems forever the fall of the axe at Pontefract
Can she feel the sword on the neck of my mother?


  1. If you haven't already, you might consider reading some of the Phillipa Gregory novels which deal with the personalities and histories of these woman. I have no vested interest but perhaps you might find them interesting. Nice poem, by the way.

  2. Hey Gerry!

    Thanks for the suggestion. I absolutely love the Phillipa Gregory books actually. Have read them all - her historical accuracy bugs me a little as I have a history degree and specialised in the 16th and early 17th century but I do enjoy them. Thanks for the advice though. What books interest you?

    M xx