Sunday, 7 June 2009

I did it my way: as personally eulogised by 3 heroines of Victorian literature

Here's the idea. This writing is by no means finished, but it will give you an idea of what I am driving at.

Sound track from brass section: Trumpet? solo of Blake's "Jerusalem"
Spotlight on each ' reader ' at a time. I think 3 guys could potentially do it?
An interesting inconguity?


I was a good girl,
I took slow steps
acquiring friends and privations,
my heart as locked away
as your mad wife.
The friends and foes
make their footsteps through my story.
I come in first person
and you are my last, Rochester,
with your Byronic self-burning.

I plucked your ass to safety
and ran screaming from
torn wedding dresses and
my own conscience.
I should have dumped you,
darling bigamist,
but came back in the end, steadfast, true
to the climbs of my more enduring nature.
But in these times, kid aside,
some say I should have pulled out
yer other eye.


sugar - coated
anti- heroine
subervise in my world
of drawing room romance
and disliked even by
my own author.
Some say I stuck my
pretty nose too far
up other people's petticoat
But let me walk Earth again
and I'll write it large for
'Sun's 3am'
So I made mistakes?
Deal with it.
Find my tombstone
you'll find I
hitched my biggest critic.


In yer one bloody novel
Yer stuck me up a freezing moor
with ice cold brothers
and a knock about lover:
his swarthy, unknown origins
kept under a caustic tongue
with other Gothic undesirables.

Did yer have to put me in this time?
The outside inside of Victorian woman,
ghost paths and scratched windows
where the wildness of my own skin
finds me an unfashionable
couterpart in the male.
Did you have to make him my rock
in death?
And did I have to end up in that
song by Kate Bush?


Claire Morgan said...

Reading this now I feel slightly foolish - yes they are all heroines of Victorian literature, but two of them actually did not die in their novels - only Cathy snuffed it. Doh!

This therefore makes this piece potentially off track thematically. Will have to think of another - Tess of the D'Urbervilles though though she was a bit later on? Ideas on a postcard to me....x

Ross Sutherland said...

I liked all three pieces, but you're right- only one of them is dead.

you know, i'd prefer you to focus just on Cathy. First, because of the Kate Bush song- Cathy is already a character being cut out of her story and forced into hard labour.

When you said it could be read by a boy, I was unsure. I thought it might be adding an extra layer of artifice to the poem that might detract from the message behind it. Especially because its quite a feminist "I did it my way" kinda poem. Read by a boy, it could start to feel sarcastic.

but i was just imagining a guy in a frumpy dress.

But.... if we really went to town, and transformed the boy into a glamorous drag queen.... The whole nine yards: elegant victorian dress, incredibly ostentatious eye makeup, sultry could be great!

You'd have to develop the poem so it made more of a nod to the female-in-a-male idea. Perhaps the speaker should not be Cathy per se, but haunted by Cathy, possessed by her.

"The outside inside of Victorian woman,
ghost paths and scratched windows
where the wildness of my own skin
finds me an unfashionable
counterpart in the male."

this bit kinda fits already!

any of the male members of the word-tank team up for this?

also- emma wrote a poem about cathy right back at the start of the blog. worth a look for some ideas.