We all remember -- some of us more vividly than others. There are the daily skirmishes with academic entanglements offset by intermittent clashes with authority over real or imagined offenses. The subtle disputes over position within groups, the internal battles to hold the line, to not pout or whimper or weep at the wrenching disappointments and setbacks. It seems at every moment there's something to test the resolve, to challenge the dreams, to weigh down and hold back the dreamer.
A few of us set out to remember it from a new angle.
It started... with one insanely optimistic woman who was joined in both insanity and optimism by a group who jokingly began to call themselves Poetry Princesses. It seemed a good title for a group of women armed with the rules of poetic form, but not yet the power needed to make them work. Princesses aren't quite the heads of kingdoms, after all, but they know the rules, and can be counted on to take up arms to rigorously defend them.
And to continue with the strangely twisted metaphor, a princess is a not-yet Queen, like a high school student is a not-yet adult - full of the promise of what will be, armed with the determination to become. In honor of the high school students we know, and were, and wanted to be, we wrote a crown of seven interlinked sonnets. It was an amazing undertaking.
Our crown leaped into life with Sara Lewis Holmes, leapt into flight with Laura Salas, found its dancing shoes with Miss Rumphius' Tricia, waxed luminous with Liz in Ink (who has the whole crown at her site), became a mist-shrouded island here, then a rock in a stream at A Wrung Sponge, and finally hurtled off into space with Kelly at Writing and Ruminating.
Imagine the whistle of the épée as we salute you. The battle is engaged. En garde!
Cutting A Swath
My name will be too small to hold me soon.
Unnamed, traversing now this darkling plane
called school. Fey, fickle, Royalty arcane,
Bequeathed with charm and crowned with mystic runes,
Their sorcerous hold upon the madding crowd
Points social scepter, friend or foe to choose.
Those Named hold sway: I do hereby refuse
To be so owned; stand rowan-straight, unbowed.
Swift, fleeting, “Shadow” is my sobriquet.
Invisible. To none allegiance owed,
My scholarship I practice, moments seize.
Small magics my cold iron will displays,
Four years I serve. I pace this treacherous road,
My eyes, now disenchanted, my soul free.
The Poetry Princesses, © 2008, All Rights Reserved
Poetry Friday is hosted at A Wrung Sponge, where you will find myriad other lovely bits of poetry, though nothing like this original linkage of royalty. Happy Poetry Friday, and thank-you, Poetry Princesses, for lending me your shields.