Thursday, April 14, 2011


This poem based on the magic splendor of Marie-France’s painting, "Elf by night", looks at the folkloric character of Puck. Classically known in Shakespeare’s play and French legend as an impish boy, the subject’s voice and gender change ( in this verse) to show a female side of savvy mischief and romantic charm.

In a sassy dialogue with her viewers, the feminine sprite defines herself. She declares her shortened name is derived from pulchritude, a Latin-rooted word meaning of great beauty or graceful appeal. Yet, she prefers the sound and rhythmic quickness of her one-syllable identity. It energizes her confidence and flair.

Mid-Summer’s Eve is a time of enchantment when all logic is abandoned and delightful chaos erupts. Elf by night invites us to dream and perceive a shapely fairy in Puck’s mirror, a girl who flirtatiously turns myth and
literary tradition upside down.


(In A world Turned Upside Down)

The Playwright thought
as others have
I am a prankster,
an elfin boy

who might braid
two horse tails together
or steal household goods;
matchsticks, spools of thread
or a new bride’s sanity.

But I am female,
part girl, part lace-wing moth
who rises from a candle flame
to spice dreams, deepen
the scent of fruit
and make hinges on a screen door

hum like a choral spell
enticing lovers
to come out and seize
the summer night.

Puck is rooted
in Pulchritude
and leaps so quickly
off the tongue

that I adore
the staccato plucking --
one syllable, one vocal string
that ignites a girdle
of stars, a galaxy
of feminine charms.

Note -- The enchanting image is designed by French artist, Marie-France Riviere, and can be viewed with other lovely works at her online gallery --

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