Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Method of Madame K.

If I were a princess, a grand duchess like the rest,
Plucking rounds and diamonds from the lining of my dress,

Would you say to me in Russian, "Little faker, fair of face,
Prove to me you're royal," with your hands beneath the lace?

If I had a little derringer tucked within my clutch,
If my ribboned wrists hid poison pills, cyanide and such,

Would you take them from me, one by one, a sweet preserving djinn,
Then trail the feathers from my hat along my lamp-warmed skin?

Raven-haired Inquisitress, who takes the truth by kiss,
Can you believe confessions you have won from me like this?

Sweetheart, I surrender; adoring you I fall,
And any other claims I made, matter not at all.

______

A princess poem for Real Toads mini-challenge.

The vintage photo is of Maria Doro, silent era actress, 1909.

A little bit of background: In 1920, a woman was hospitalized in Berlin following a suicide attempt. She claimed to be the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia, who was presumed executed with her entire family by the Communists in 1918. Her claim gained attention, and even some Romanov relatives believed she was indeed Anastasia, despite the fact that she did not speak Russian! The case remained a mystery for decades until modern DNA tests proved that the woman, Anna Anderson, could not have been the late Grand Duchess.  

24 comments:

HermanTurnip said...

Fantastic piece! Easily one of my recent favorites from you. No jive. I really loved it!

Lolamouse said...

You make history such fun!

flipside records said...

"Would you say to me in Russian, 'Little faker, fair of face,
Prove to me you're royal,' with your hands beneath the lace?" ... Ha! This is funny. :)

I really like the rhythm and rhyme throughout. Very heavy and thick, like a Russian accent ... or jam.

I like this nickname: "Raven-haired Inquisitress"

"Can you believe confessions you have won from me like this?" ... And this does seem a bit unfair; who knows WHAT you might say.

hedgewitch said...

I love it when you rhyme. The topic suits the form perfectly, and the form makes the topic shine. The beginning, especially, almost teases the reader to continue. Lovely stuff, Shay. I have hopes to tackle this one when my head finally clears.

TexWisGirl said...

i like the line about the confessions. :)

Sioux said...

Again, the chameleon routine. Jeezle!

Your word choice, the rhythm, the rhyme--it fit the topic perfectly.

Gnash! Gnash! Gnash! (My teeth are disappearing more and more every day.)

Kay L. Davies said...

I never did believe she was Anastasia.
Fabulous poem, Shay. So many great lines, like "Raven-haired Inquisitress"!
You're SO good at this.
K

Mama Zen said...

Oh, this is beautiful!

Daryl Edelstein said...

lovely ..

Kenia Cris said...

I adore your writing! Every piece you do is magical to me. ;)

Kerry O'Connor said...

Do I note a bit of a rhyme scheme here...?

There is something so mysterious about Russian princesses, and you have tapped into all the intrigue in your description, the tiny pistols hidden by lace etc. There is something irresistible in this dangerously tantalizing portrait.

Herotomost said...

I could see this being a monologue to a period movie, kind of like Johnny Depps monologue in the Libertine. Very cool...yeah, way cool.

Abin Chakraborty said...

intriguing, enigmatic piece...reminds of Greta Garbo in some of her stellar roles.

manicddaily said...

Wonderfully seductive, deadly, lyrical. k.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I enjoyed the rhyming too....such a lilt, this poem has. Love the closing lines.

Susan said...

Shay, I always allow your music to drive me astray and/or read your words through the music because you like the rock I like. "Deaf can hear . . . " ooo, Eric Clapton!

Fantasy lover, fantasy surrender, "Can you believe confessions you have won from me like this?"

With the rhyme, yes for this one time, yes.

Marian said...

yeah, love both the rhyme and your questions.

nene said...

I feel the same as Kenia Cris.

This one was one of my favorites because it really manifests the diversity of your talent.

Gracias mi amiga

Far Beyond The Ridge said...

Hmm... My imagination forked as i read this~i stayed with the story, but i also saw you penning it in a castle tower, a little stone window where a moon peeked in between the clouds. You looking out to conjure up the next line.
It made a grand story even more so.
And i loved how it ended.

myheartslovesongs said...

LOVE this... the ending would melt the heart of anyone still breathing!

i hadn't heard about the dna test being done ~ i had wanted to believe...

Lynn said...

A princess poem - I like that.

Kim Nelson said...

Now that's the kind of princess to aspire to. Clever and confident, and just a little bit rebellious. Kinda like her creator, huh?

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Loved this so much - loved how you kept the verse structure. Very imaginative - great song from the movie too (ps - just got my tix for The Who performing Quadrophenia!)

Hannah said...

Nice!! I like where your's went and funny enough that mine went to a similar space...pondering the princesses lost thoughts!

Only you'rs was much more unique and unhindered by vowel counting. :)

I like your take and especially

I love this portion:

"If I had a little derringer tucked within my clutch,
If my ribboned wrists hid poison pills, cyanide and such,

Would you take them from me, one by one, a sweet preserving djinn,
Then trail the feathers from my hat along my lamp-warmed skin?"

Nice, Shay!!