My Lady of the Tapestries
This tapestry is exquisitely executed,
I would be proud to claim it as my own,
a silken greensward studded with gems of
violet heartsease and yellow columbines.
And in the centre, a pure white hart,
snow skein skin rippling, taut,
caught in a web of stitches, a cruel enclosure.
That fine woven Arcadia
conceals yet another cold stone wall,
another castle. I cannot tell where,
they are all one to me,
except what matters is the quality of light.
I must be housed in the Solar,
for the delicacy of my needlework demands it
as I stitch a rich purple thistle with golden thorns,
a twisting emerald vine heavy with fruit,
and I cut the thread of a silken rose
with a blood red heart.
Inspired by the embroideries by Mary Queen of Scots during her imprisonment in a series of castles and "safe houses" between 1569 and around 1585. Click here to learn more.
This poem was written as part of a "Poems in Place" project at Ashby de la Zouch Castle, Leicestershire, U.K. where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned for a short time.
Sue Mackrell lives in Leicestershire, U.K., and is of London-Welsh ancestry, Her poems and short stories have been published in literary magazines, anthologies and on the web - she is delighted that her poems have appeared in the last five editions of Agenda Poetry - http://www.agendapoetry.co.uk/ She has an MA in Creative Writing from Loughborough University, UK, and taught creative writing there, as well as in schools, colleges, galleries and museums. Retirement means more time to visit galleries and write!
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