“Taliesin on the Occasion of his Knighthood”

I have achieved the shield. It is akin to poetry:
An image, clear in color, is framed by the art
Into useful form, for the strength of the realm.

I kneel before Arthur, my eyes on his,
As the flat of his sword stings my shoulder.
Blanchefleur—oh, beloved, do not weep—
And Guinevere the queen now bend
To buckle my shield on my arm.

The scars of my ordeal are fading;
Joy and pride now fill my spirit.
I set my lips to frame a verse,
Striving, by structure and my art,
To recall this moment forever.

This is another of my series of poems set in the Arthuriad. I have no idea where it falls in the internal chronology, but I first wrote its initial version fairly early in the series. Later, when I did a wholesale revision of most poems in the series, it was among them and got some fairly superficial changes, but I only substantially improved it quite recently. To give credit where credit is due, I probably got the idea of using the shield, rather than the sword, to represent knighthood from Tamora Pierce‘s fantasy series.

I always welcome your comments, critique, suggestions (perhaps of a real title for this poem?), or any other feedback on this poem or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you like it, if you don’t like it, if something “works”, if something “doesn’t work”, if it makes you think of something or someone, etc., please comment and say so!) If you like this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday; you can also read other poems I’ve written here on this blog (or if that list is too intimidating, I’m posting more manageable subsets each week, such as yesterday’s installment, so you can just start with those). I’d particularly like to know which poems you think are my best.

This poem is also mirrored on my wiki and . If you like it, you are also encouraged to share it with others, subject to my sharing policy.


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