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Christine’s story: Morte D’Arthur Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Posted by carryapoem in Stories.

A poem I carry in my head – well, bits of it – is ‘Morte D’Arthur’ by Tennyson.  We had to learn parts of it at school, for which I continue to be grateful.  It is such a wonderfully paced narrative, held together by the backbone of its iambic pentameter.  The somewhat exalted language matches the theme of the dying king and his gloriously mysterious sword.

So saying, from the ruin’d shrine he stept
And in the moon athwart the place of tombs,
Where lay the mighty bones of ancient men,
Old knights, and over them the sea-wind sang
Shrill, chill, with flakes of foam.  He, stepping down
By zig-zag paths, and juts of pointed rock,
Came on the shining levels of the lake.

Christine De Luca is a Shetlander, living in Edinburgh. She writes both in English and Shetlandic, her mother tongue. The Shetland Library published three poetry collections: Voes & Sounds in 1994, Wast Wi Da Valkyries in 1997 and Plain Song in 2002. The first two won the Shetland Literary Prize, since discontinued. More recently (2004), Hansel Cooperative Press has published a sequence of poems, ‘Drops in Time’s Ocean’. Luath Press has published her fourth collection, Parallel Worlds (2005).


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