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Saturday, 23 September 2017

The Proud King by William Morris

The Proud King is a religious poem by William Morris, set in the medieval era in Europe when kings wielded absolute power and wealth. This didactic poem details the travails of King Jovinian, a powerful and affluent leader of a mighty kingdom. However, the poem is influenced by the classical story of King Aggei, a mighty Russian czar, who fell from grace to grass due to his arrogance and lack of reverence for God. The poem is also a biblical allusion to the proud King Nebuchadnezzar.

This long narrative poem captures the downfall of a powerful king from riches to rags due to his hubris. His personality flaw lies in pride. Due to the enormous wealth and authority he exerts, King Jovinian exhibits royal arrogance. He feels that he is more than a man and places himself on equal status with God. To him, he cannot die. He has assumed immortality. Because of this, God decides to humble King Jovinian.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

A Troubadour I Traverse By Dennis Brutus

A troubadour, I traverse all my land
exploring all her wide-flung parts with zest
probing in motion sweeter far than rest
her secret thickets with an amorous hand:
and I have laughed, disdaining those who banned
inquiry and movement, delighting in the test
of will when doomed by Saracened arrest,
choosing, like unarmed thumb, simply to stand.

Thus, quixoting till a cast-off of my land
I sing and fare, person to loved-one pressed
braced for this pressure and the captor’s hand
that snaps off service like a weathered strand:
– no mistress-favor has adorned my breast
only the shadow of an arrow-brand.


Most fancy fairy tales involving princesses and kingdoms have this catch phrase: "My Knight and Shinning Armour". The Knight is usually the saviour of a young princess, maiden or mistress. "A Troubadour I Traverse" is a poem that tells of a Knight who lives to dies for his mistress.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

I Will Pronounce Your Name by Leopold Sedar Senghor

I will pronounce your name, Naett, I will declaim you,
Naett, your name is mild like cinnamon, it is the fragrance
in which the lemon grove sleeps
Naett, your name is the sugared clarity of blooming coffee
And it resembles the savannah, that blossoms forth under
the masculine ardour of the midday sun
Name of dew, fresher than shadows of tamarind,
Fresher even than the short dusk, when the heat of the day
is silenced,
Naett, that is the dry tornado, the hard clap of lightning
Naett, coin of gold, shining coal, you my night, my sun!…
I am your hero, and now I have become your sorcerer, in
order to pronounce your names.
Princess of Elissa, banished from Futa on the fateful day.