20 October 2014

Ode on a Peacock

Proud bird, great samrāṭ, contemplates askance
   the cream-tea crowds, below his long wall throne,
and their amusement, afternoon of dance,
   three Morris sides in shade of Sudeley stone.
Awhile, he musters merely dull disdain,
   and shifts position only for effect,
      to humour the admirers at his feet;
yet little twitches start amid his train,
   his eight toes tap, then from his beak eject
      he-awl!s – and last, he leaps from lofty seat.

Among the throng, he struts on gravelled floor,
   his crown a-nod, a beaded blur of blue
far richer than all regal treasure store,
   his frontal feathers rippling sapphrald hue.
Perhaps the rags of Happenstance inspire
   this beauteous being to shimmer such delight;
      though subtler colours, yet how well their whirl
that whoosh! – he fans exotic East attire,
   his cloak of sparkling eyes, all for the sight
      of Cotswold Border Morris trip and twirl.

* * *
Here, at last, is my poem about the peacock in attendance at Happenstance Day of Dance, to conclude the Sudeley series.

As the title suggests, this is another ode – an English ode again, with the same rhyme scheme as my Ode on Belas Knap from earlier this year. I perform in iambic pentameter here too (~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ -) and I’ve invented a word for the second verse – ‘sapphrald’, a combination of sapphire and emerald, in an attempt to capture the blue-and-green beauty of the peacock’s appearance.

This peacock did seem very interested in Morris performance, almost competing with the musicians at times, his cries particularly piercing during ‘Dilwyn’. I am fond of birds, so it was a pleasure to observe him :>)


P.S. And coming soon… the Snowshill series!