I. Elegy for a Fairytale
There are no knights in shining armour,
there is no chivalry;
there are only nights of drunken ardour
followed by confused apologies.
The damsels in distress collect
there is no chivalry
nor any Knights in shining armour now
I wonder if there ever were?
Though once upon a time I thought I knew one who
took me into his care;
under his roof he offered me his time,
yet in my darkest hour of all
I found he was not there:
there is no happy-ever-after
nor any once-upon-a-time
for all in love is foul where foul is fair.
Yet still we seek our knights in shining armour,
sculpt castles in the sky
where we imagine will live in splendour
with our knights by our side
our castles in the sky
are like a rainbow, or ‘a parting cloud:’
a dream of love, born only for to die.
Though there may be no knights in shining armour
there are those nights we come to know ourselves:
some have called this ‘the dark night of the soul’
it may be so, perhaps I’ll never know;
I only know, strength gathered from within
through self-knowledge, which comes from self-forgetting
can teach us how to shine.
Though once upon a time I thought I needed
some brave, bold knight to hoist me on his horse;
in my darkest hour I found
I only had a hope, a prayer
which proved enough
once fate had run its course
much like a river runs: thus we are carried
like fish within a current, or like birds
born high aloft on upon a thermal, eddied,
dipping and diving, still no much the worse
but better – no – the best that we can be:
a dream of love once born
can never die.
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
This is a palinode
Tonight, Grace hosts dVerse Meeting the Bar, and she has asked us to write a palinode, that is:
‘an ode or song that retracts or recants a view or sentiment that the poet wrote in a previous poem.’
Immediately I read the prompt, I knew which of my poems I would like to retract. I wrote ‘Elegy for a Fairytale‘ last year in order to illustrate elegiac verse. But in terms of expressing my own personal sentiments, this was far too desolate, ending on a hopeless note. So I have taken this opportunity to retract the sentiments which I wrote about in the previous poem, which reads almost like a paean to self-pity: a luxury I certainly can’t afford!