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The Red Palace
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Author:  Richard [ Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:51 pm ]
Post subject:  The Red Palace

The Red Palace


In dreaming once
I wandered woods
Through vast valleys lost.
There by Christ's Rood
Was a palace red.

A palace red,
With walls scarlet
Like the finery
Of some harlot's
Lavish cunning court.

A cunning court,
There stood a throne
Richly wrought in red
As ruby stones,
All unknown to man.

Unknown to man,
Was such blood red
And by my troth thought
I to be dead
With what I espied.

I next espied
White clad a maid,
Auburn haired before
That throne. She said,
That we were alone.

We two alone
Lodged close inside
Those dread coxcomb walls.
I prayed that night
Watched over those gems

Those reddish gems
Owed to no man,
Left untouched. I ask
Now, wringing hands
Jhesu in this life

This waking life
No red palace lie,
For this wight with wife
Who wandered wide
He cannot forget.

Author:  des2 [ Sat Jan 05, 2008 8:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

I enjoyed that poem very much, Richard. Can you tell us more about it.

It's writ archaic, but I wonder if it's a modern wight who writeth it.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:04 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yes, tell all.

Author:  Richard [ Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Red Palace

Its one of mine *blush*.

Author:  des2 [ Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:01 am ]
Post subject: 

Genuinely enjoyable poem, Richard. Congratulations.
I know that 'wight' does not exactly mean 'man' but I was wondering why 'wight' was used at one point and 'man' at another?

Author:  Richard [ Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Wight

des2 wrote:
Genuinely enjoyable poem, Richard. Congratulations.
I know that 'wight' does not exactly mean 'man' but I was wondering why 'wight' was used at one point and 'man' at another?



I think that it had the advantage (to medieval authors at least) of being able to stand for man and Mankind simultaneously.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:58 pm ]
Post subject: 

What was the inspiration, Richard? I'm fascinated by the 'red' everywhere.

Author:  Richard [ Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

Most of the inspiration when I wrote it came from medieval lyrics and carols I'm familiar with, such as the Corpus Christi Carol, E.G.

.. In that Orchard there was an halle
That was hanged with purpill and pall

And in that hall there was a bede
It was hanged with gold so rede ...

Christ's blood, typically symbolised by distracting redness, is common to the period.

The theme of sexual temptation in a courtly setting was familiar from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

That's interesting. I had associated the red with harlotry only.
You mention 'rubies' - did you know that they preserved virginity according to ancient thought?

Author:  Richard [ Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Rubies

Yes I had an idea of that association - hadn't looked it up though..

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