Aug. 23rd, 2012

rhian_crockett: A painting of a castle; there is a red flag flying. (Default)
From the world of dissertation hell, I actually bring you poetry. Which has very little to do with my dissertation, except in being vaguely Arthurian. I feel sort of tender about the moment when Gawain kneels down and bares his neck for the Green Knight, and I wondered how the Green Knight might feel about it...

The title is a quote from the medieval poem, translating to 'your kisses and your conduct otherwise'. The poem is a rondeau.

thy cosses and thy costes als

You kneel at my feet, and I see the nape of your neck white and bare,
and in the castle my wife smiles at your aunt and tosses her hair,
and I see you tremble, and I know you are but a man,
and I hold my axe, and I wonder if I can
and I lift my axe, and will I, can I dare?

Your eyes are closed and your lips move in a prayer --
lips that have touched mine as you paid your debt fair.
And I bring the axe down once, a span
from your bright head.

Your hand goes to the green girdle that you wear
and ah, Gawain, it is here that at last you err.
The jealousy swells in me bitterer than
bile. Not jealousy of you, but at her plan
that made you at last give up your care
for me. I could almost see you dead.

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rhian_crockett: A painting of a castle; there is a red flag flying. (Default)
Rhian Crockett

August 2013


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