Archive for October, 2010

George, duke of Clarence
21 October 1449 to 18 February 1478

George duke of Clarence
was an alcoholic wifebeater.
Or so the internet tells me.
Poor pale Isobel,
Warwick’s pawn,
weeping and trembling
while he sank deeper into a bottle
or the fifteenth century equivalent.
A butt of wine.

George duke of Clarence
was going to be king,
his brother’s crown,
another’s crown, on his head,
his son to succeed him.
Wrapped in a cloth
weighed down with hearts and stones,
dropped into the welcoming water
of the well-worn Channel.

George, duke of Clarence
made his way back
led by the duchess,
bruised and bleeding.
From his hands
or her father’s choices?
Sister-queen or brother-king,
You pay your money and take your chances
and the drumbeat changes.

George duke of Clarence
stood in the abbey
Isobel lying
in a box of sorrow.
Alone in vigil
surrounded by people,
his guiding light extinguished,
consumed by a flame hotter than his.
Love lies bleeding.

George duke of Clarence
fell into the hands
of those who saw
further than he did.
You are my brother. And
I am your king.
Come for the child bride’s wedding
stay for the trial of folly and grieving.
He sees her waiting.

George duke of Clarence
was drowned in his bath.
Brothers bewildered,
sisters grieving.
His children left
to fate and the weather.
Two quick and breathing
Two cold and still, waiting to be warmed
by the arms of their father,

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No, I hadn’t forgotten. I was on the road for 10 hours yesterday, then slept for nearly 12.

Birthday greetings to Richard, Duke of Gloucester and king of England. Born 2 October 1452, cruelly slain 22 August 1485. Richard was survived by at least 2 illegitimate children: John of Gloucester and Katherine.