my poetess sublime

Christine, my poetess sublime

Doesth thou remember whence we met

Was it the search of the

ashes of Anne Bradstreet’s library

to find what little was left

of her words, but not her love

or when all read Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko

aloud in unison, hushed against intrigue

in a royal court – a place thou

knewest, described and descried

Did we meet on the steps

of my university library

your headdress, my knapsack

as I learned to teach of women

such as thou who broke the conventions

who darest read, write, and speak

T’would be strange, and yet

within, sweet poetess, our

purvey – that I found you,

not in the words you wrote

but how they were written

That t’was illuminated manuscripts

the calligraphy and artistry

did draw me to you

if thou rememberest when we

did meet, write a discourse, a letter

a poem – so that I might rescue what thou

wrote whilst with the nuns and daughter

words gone when you breathed your last

if not on paper, then, sweet poetess,

in thine heart, mind and soul

The Treasure of the City of Ladies: Or the Book of the Three Virtues (Penguin Classics)


Thank you so much for reminding me of Christine de Pis[z]an. I wrote a prose poem using Anne Bradstreet and Apra Behn as conduits to my meeting her as I wrote extensive papers on Anne Bradstreet, and on women writers of Aphra Behn’s period or influenced by her. [Frances Burney; Frances Sheridan]. I’m really not sure when I met her; but I am glad it happened.

Composed for B & P’s Shadorma & Beyond, August 13, 2016.

I am so impressed by your re-enactment involvement. I’ve taught classes with re-enactors as students, and enjoyed discussing their “hobby” as I would tease, with them. Mostly men, military, and North America circa 1600 – 1865. Wives, partners, girlfriends, entire family children included involved too. So fascinating. I love history, so I don’t know what period I would find myself most “comfortable” in.

I look forward to hearing of your adventures! Please post pictures (if such artifacts as cameras and cellphones on airplane mode are allowed).


I love dialogue. Do you?

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