Saturday, 8 March 2008

P-i-R's International Women's Day poem

To celebrate International Women's Day, a movement begun in New York 100 years ago in 1908 when 15,000 women marched through the streets demanding a better deal, Poet-in-Residence has selected an Elizabethan sonnet parody by Sir John Davies written in the 16th century. Sir John, an Inns of Court man, was no romantic fool or sentimentalist. His sideways look at the poet's attitude to the so-called fairer sex makes entertaining reading. P-i-R has updated the spellings of a number of Elizabethan words, for the purpose clarity. The sonnet shows Elizabethan men as the pompous fools they could be - especially when it comes to women.

from Gullinge* Sonnets - no. 6

The sacred muse that first made love divine
Has made him naked and without attire;
But I will clothe him with this pen of mine
That all the world his fashion shall admire:
His hat of hope, its band of beauty fine,
His cloak of craft, his doublet of desire;
Grief for a girdle shall about him twine;
His points of pride, his eyelet holes of ire,
His hose of hate, his codpiece of conceit,
His stockings of stern strife, his shirt of shame,
His garters of vainglory, gay and slight,
His pantaloons of passions I will frame;
Pumps of presumption shall adorn his feet,
And socks of sullenness exceeding sweet.

Sir John Davies (circa. 1594)

*possibly sham or counterfeit

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.