Sunday, 1 December 2013

A Visit to Kenilworth

I live 15 minutes away from Kenilworth in Warwickshire. It's a small town, and I often visit the shops there. I drive past the castle ruins to get to the car park, and usually have a quick look at them through the car window. Inevitably, I start to think again about the Tudors.

Although I'm fascinated by our early history, the Anglo Saxons and Celts, I've also been reading about Henry the Eighth and his wives; Queen Elizabeth the First and her relationship with Robert, Lord Dudley. I've enjoyed reading Philippa Gregory's novels in particular about these times.

Obviously, we'll never know exactly what happened between Elizabeth and Dudley, the same as in any true story from any period, since the plot belongs to those who take part in it, but here's the poem I wrote on how I imagined it might have been...

The Castle crumbles in ruin.
Shadows drift, a Queen,
proud peacocks, fountains,
lovers joined in the rose garden.

Desire lives in the turbulent breeze,
pressed into Kenilworth stone.
Birds carried coded messages,
glide still in the clouded mist

as history haunts thought.
The glitter of sunlight a bright
jewel from an Elizabethan crown?
She loved you Dudley, no other,

and yet you desired only this,
to be King, not the beauty,
soul or soft heart of a woman.
She rests lonely here,

afraid of you, for you;
yearns in half light
for touch's dark shiver,
to live again, as she once dared.