Queens

By J. M. Synge 1871–1909 J. M. Synge
Seven dog-days we let pass
Naming Queens in Glenmacnass,
All the rare and royal names
Wormy sheepskin yet retains,
Etain, Helen, Maeve, and Fand,
Golden Deirdre's tender hand,
Bert, the big-foot, sung by Villon,
Cassandra, Ronsard found in Lyon.
Queens of Sheba, Meath and Connaught,
Coifed with crown, or gaudy bonnet,
Queens whose finger once did stir men,
Queens were eaten of fleas and vermin,
Queens men drew like Monna Lisa,
Or slew with drugs in Rome and Pisa,
We named Lucrezia Crivelli,
And Titian's lady with amber belly,
Queens acquainted in learned sin,
Jane of Jewry's slender shin:
Queens who cut the bogs of Glanna,
Judith of Scripture, and Gloriana,
Queens who wasted the East by proxy,
Or drove the ass-cart, a tinker's doxy,
Yet these are rotten — I ask their pardon —
And we've the sun on rock and garden,
These are rotten, so you're the Queen
Of all the living, or have been.

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Poet J. M. Synge 1871–1909

POET’S REGION Ireland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Gender & Sexuality, Relationships, Love, Social Commentaries, Men & Women, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Couplet

Biography

Synge is the most highly esteemed playwright of the Irish literary renaissance, the movement in which such literary figures as William Butler Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory made their mark at the turn of the twentieth century. Although he died just short of his thirty-eighth birthday and produced a modest number of works, his writings have made an impact on audiences, writers, and Irish culture.

Born near Dublin on April 16, . . .

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Poems by J. M. Synge

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Gender & Sexuality, Relationships, Love, Social Commentaries, Men & Women, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION Ireland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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