Sunday, 3 April 2011

LÁ 'LE MAMAÍ - MOTHER'S DAY

Joan of Arc - Gaston Bussiere
Lá 'le Mamaí faoi mhaise! Happy Mother's Day! Best wishes to my own mother and especially to all my mother-writer friends - you are my inspiration.

I looked through my poems, trying to find a cheery poem about mothering. Um, I don't seem to have any particularly light-hearted ones. Anyway, I've decided to share this one, 'La Pucelle', which was in my collection Tattoo : Tatú. It's about Joan of Arc and her mother. It's sort of sad but it's about the love we have for our mothers.

Have a great day!


In the hush of my father’s house,
before dusk rustles over the horizon,
I take off the dress my mother made
– it’s as ruby-red as St. Michael’s cloak –
and with a slitch of linen, bind my breasts.

By the greasy light of a candle,
I shear my hair to the style of a boy,
in the looking-glass, I see my girlhood
swallowed up in a tunic and pants,
I lace them tightly to safeguard myself.

My soldiers call me ‘pucelle’, maiden,
they cleave a suit of armour to my body,
and know, when following my banner
over ramparts into Orléans, that
there will only ever be one like me.

When the pyre-flames fly up my legs,
I do not think of the Dauphin,
or my trial as a heretical pretender,
but see my mother, head bent low,
sewing a red dress for her daughter to wear.

12 comments:

Kar said...

A lovely poem from a fantastic collection! I think I may have to re-read it again today..
Hope you have a very happy mammy day
x

Jills said...

very nice. made me think of the lyrics to an old folk song that joan baez and bob dylan and the grateful dead made popular, jackaroe

i know my waist is slender, my fingers are not and small, but it would not make me tremble to face the cannonball.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Kar - thanks a millo. Had a nice day - nice food and choc and music. Sweet. N x

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Jills - thank you.
I'm listening to Joan B singing it on Youtube as I type. What a clear, sweet voice and a lovely ballad. Thanks for telling me about it.
Nuala

Jills said...

woops! I meant neat and small! I'm so glad you're hearing it for the first time. and happy mother's day over there.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Jills - I read it as 'neat' so no worries.
Happy mother's day to you too :)

Tomono said...

We have our copy of Tattoo : Tatú up in the bathroom- an honour I assure you, only our favourite books reside there for reading over and over!! Every blessing on this Mothers Day Nuala XX

Words A Day said...

love that last line. stunning poem.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Thanks a millo, Emily and Niamh. I hope you both had a lovely mother's day. Nuala x

Rachel Fenton said...

It's a gorgeous poem - you really are a painter, you know. Happy belated Mam's day - though we have a different one in NZ - neither of which get remembered! Though I did send me mam a card, but she wasn't at home to receive it - miles away in Scotland, living it up!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

There should be world co-ordination of Mothering Sunday. WOuldn't that make sense?!?!?!
Happy mother's day to you anyway, Rae, whenever it falls in your land!
N x

Rosita said...

real nice x