Last weekend, my first scroll text for a kingdom level award went out in the Consules’ court. My friend Agnes Marie de Calais was inducted into the Order of the Silver Wheel for service, and Collette d’Avignon, who was responsible for creating the scroll, asked if I would be willing to compose the text to honor her. I was delighted to be asked, and set to researching and creating something that would, I hoped, fit Agnes like a glove.
I should, of course, have shared this a week ago, but life (and coordinating the completion and submission of Sing for the East) called my attention elsewhere. Still, last week at Roses included a small but meaningful milestone, as I got to watch a friend receive an award for which I had written the scroll text.
I have learned that, in posting my poetry exercises, some readers took my response to the “Women in Power” topic as an indication of my personal attitudes about women in authority. I’m deeply saddened to hear that, and hope they accept my apologies for any offense. I have updated the post to better explain my intention, which was to write the piece from an Elizabethan perspective.
Of course, I fell far short in that. For any skill I may possess, I don’t imagine I could, in the space of one hastily-written sonnet, capture the complex feelings Elizabethans–men in particular–held about women in power. They lived, of course, at a time when women were expected to be subservient–everywhere except on the throne.
As I mentioned in my long post on last week’s EK Bardic Championships, my preparations for the final round included doing some timed sonnet-writing trials to make sure I was ready to write a poem on a theme in under 30 minutes. This is the poem I wrote in the final round of the competition, on the theme of “valor”:
Who showeth valor? He who sallies forth
With sword aloft, astride so bold in might,
And by his forceful prowess shows his worth
Thus riding home victorious in the fight?
Or is he still more valorous instead
Who in the desp’rate minute of the strife,
Seeing the cause is hopeless, unafraid,
Retilts the game by giving up his life?
And yet another valor have I seen
When one you love whose suff’ring brings you fear,
And you must still protect them, although keen
The pain, you do not hide or disappear.
In each of these is valor, you must heed.
You may decide of which we most have need.
Here are the practice poems I wrote in response to topics I solicited from friends, each of them in 25 minutes or less.