GRISELDA

Standard

she of the dark battle
enters this downtrodden day

unbidden she steals in
upon the windblown cold
rides on a window’s rattle
creeps along the weather of dismay

she wants to grasp– get hold
and sink her talons deep

into the tender places
stir and rouse the vicious
powers of the soul
much better left asleep…

who can answer why
she comes and sometimes stays

or how to steer a fragile craft
adrift and trembling toward
her perfect reasons
and her empathetic sighs

around the urge to simply and
forever slip away

17 responses »

    • I’m glad you got the “dark battle” reference, Ina. This Griselda is the original German language one, not the literary one of Boccaccio. Our former president’ s famous wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, when she experienced serious depression used to speak of becoming her “Griselda” self. Thank you for your kind comment.

  1. Amazing how this same calm voice, so aware of unlikely parallels, speaks on and still hypnotizes into your own special dimensions of truth that stick and stay.

  2. I sometimes wonder why she comes and stays but she does!.

    Oh Cynthia I truly love your poetry more and more with each one I read. I was excited to see this; it gave me a distraction from feeling sorry for myself. Yesterday I had one of the frequent (but not so much recently) MS falls that just make me stop in my tracks and wonder who the hell I am! I am not someone who falls and yet here I am, regularly falling!

    Your poems always take me away from me, to a place of wonderful creativity where Im beginning to feel at home. Thank you for all your gorgeous words! 😊

  3. Reading these lines I see that Griselda was a feistier person than she’s usually given credit for. Good for her! There are depths and layers in the character of Griselda as you present her, and equally in your poem. I read it several times and then came back to it again.
    I also like very much your structure and rhyme scheme, Cynthia.
    Right … I’ll go and read it again now.

  4. Reading the title, Griselda, this thought surfaced – the epitome of patience and obedience – yes, some people do dream and what poor dreams these, I reckon.

    I shot from the hip and it did spew out rough. Trust it rattled not too much the window panes.

    • Griselda in Boccaccio’ s Decameron was indeed a model of patience and obedience. I should have considered how that literary reference would interfere with my intent when I was writing this poem. But my mind was elsewhere—with the original derivation of the name Griselda from the German language, i.e. she “of the dark battle”. So this poem missed the mark with some readers. But at least it served the creative purpose for the author of temporarily fending off a mood of deep and total discouragement. You are a loyal fellow, Eric. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment.

    • No need for sorry; the confusion occurred on my watch–or lack thereof. You were getting to the point anyway, with your kind of reading which, as I mentioned above, I very much treasure. Thank you, my friend.

  5. This is a very profound poem about the reality of depression, personified, named, and yet untamed, still powerful and pugnacious. I have known Griselda types of feelings; I have also known, I think, something akin to Churchill’s black dog, but mostly my Griselda nowadays is a bit ethereal or fog-like, slipping in and out around the corners and between the interstices without digging or slashing. It’s a miasma, to be sure, but not one with claws.

    I wish you well this season. I sent something to your old home and hope it will be forwarded by the P.O.

    • As I read this tonight, I am in tears; remnants of the depression, yes, but mostly because I’m so grateful that you “get” the poem and complete it with your insightful reading and eloquent explication. Complement is more important than compliment to me, meaning that I regard writers and readers as co-creators of literary events. This makes creativity an anonymous thing, belonging to neither, and understanding, the gift of both. Thank you so much, Natalie

      (I sent you a snail-mail missive with my new address just today!)

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