Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Where Have All the Heroes Gone?/Different Gifts"

I am deeply honored by the enthusiasm of everyone who responded to haikujaguar's call for cosponsors. I'll get everyone listed in an update, but I'm still trying to match PayPal donations to LJ handles in some cases. EDIT 3-16-09: So far donations for this poem have come from: oldewolfe, haikujaguar, elusivetiger, dulcinbradbury, akaihyo, arielstarshadow, asakiyume, jasra, morenasangre, mtrose2, and janetmiles. If you are a new sponsor and don't know this yet, I always make a donor-perk-post which is custom-locked to people on my Donors list. Make sure I know your LJ name, I'll put you on my Friends list and that custom group, and then you'll be able to read the perks by clicking the "Donors" tag in the right sidebar of this blog. This month's perk is about epic poetry.

I want to get the poem up right now. The original format was two columns, but I'm not sure that'll fit here, so I'm just going to post this as first half and second half vertically for now. (janetmiles, if your offer to help with formatting is still open, I'll take you up on that.) This poem came out of the April 7, 2009 Poetry Fishbowl and was inspired by prompts from kadiera, haikujaguar, and moosl.

Where Have All the Heroes Gone?


Where have all the heroes gone?
I want a man who’ll fight till dawn,
Full of honor in the chase,
Not one who’ll bid me bear a mace.

I don’t want some knave’s largesse;
I am not held here by duress.
Where’s the hero, bold and hale,
Who’ll always save me, without fail?

I’m not here to rescue him
From all the monsters great and grim.
I’m the princess; he’s the knight –
That way it doesn’t seem quite right.

Something’s wrong; I don’t know why.
Must I live lonely till I die?
No one wants a gentle dame …
The world has changed, but I’m the same.

Where’s the hero I can love,
Who will accept my silken glove?
He must save me from my fate …
But ah, I fear it’s growing late.

My true love will never rest,
And he will recognize this test.
After winning his renown,
He must bear up my father’s crown.

Battle-maids may have their knaves
To weep like willows o’er their graves.
I will keep the knight who’s come
To rescue me, so venturesome.

Let the harpers have their say –
But I am Queen, and have my way –
For a story is no good
That helps not man- nor womanhood.


Different Gifts


Where have all the damsels gone?
I want a princess like a fawn,
Fair of manner as of face,
Not one who’ll fight me for my place.

I don’t want a lioness
Who will not deign to wear a dress.
Where’s the heroine in veil
Of satin, watching for my sail?

I will come to rescue her
From all the threats there ever were.
I’m the hero; she’s the maid –
And this is how our paths were laid.

Something’s wrong with girls these days,
Not satisfied with jewels and praise.
No one wants a manly man …
They want a knave, not what I am.

Where’s my princess; where’s my dove
Within her tower high above?
She must pledge to be my mate
Once I’ve saved her from dire strait.

My true love will make us blessed
When I have won her through a quest.
After wearing her white gown,
She must bear heirs and lay them down.

Knaves may have their battle-maids
All dressed in armor, bells on braids.
I will keep the maid I’ve found
And plucked from tower, spell unbound.

Let the bards sing what we ken –
Let maids be maids, and men be men –
For we all have different gifts
That should make bridges, never rifts.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, gender studies, networking, poem, poetry
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