Sunday, 8 November 2009

Warming Her Pearls

Recently I posted the poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen, I've also previously mentioned Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate, and linked to her Poem "Last Post" within this post.

I posted these in connection with the subject of Remembrance, but I want to explore my poetry horizons further. I'll hopefully be posting other poems as time goes by and I'm kicking off this occasional series with a narrative poem by Carol Ann Duffy.

Warming Her Pearls by Carol Ann Duffy

Next to my own skin, her pearls. My mistress
Bids me wear them, warm them, until evening
When I'll brush her hair. At six, I place them
Round her cool, white throat. All day I think of her,

Resting in the Yellow Room, contemplating silk
Or taffeta, which gown tonight? She fans herself
Whilst I work willingly, my slow heat entering
Each pearl. Slack on my neck, her rope.

She's beautiful. I dream about her
In my attic bed; picture her dancing
With tall men. Puzzled by my faint, persistent scent
Beneath her French perfume, her milky stones.

I dust her shoulders with a rabbit's foot
Watch the soft blush seep through her skin
Like an indolent sigh. In her looking-glass
My red lips part as though I want to speak.

Full moon. Her carriage brings her home. I see
Her every movement in my head... Undressing,
Taking off her jewels, her slim hand reaching
For the case, slipping naked into bed, the way

She always does... And I lie here awake,
Knowing the pearls are cooling even now
In the room where my mistress sleeps. All night
I feel their absence and I burn.


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