Thursday, 3 April 2014

give the queen a Chance!

is for Chant Royal

Chant Royal is a form of French poetry first introduced in the 14th century in France, to address “heroic” or “regal” subjects.  It made its way into English in the 19th century, and its complexity put some people off... um... royally.  No surprises there.

The rules for a chant royal are

  •  3 or 5 eleven-line stanzas, and a 5 or 7 line envoi in the end

  • The rhyme scheme is ababccddedE for the main stanzas, and ddedE for a 5-line envoi, or ccddedE for a 7-line one.  For my part, a 7-line ending sounds suspiciously more like a stanza than an envoi, so I’m going to stick with a 5-line one.

  • E stands for a refrain, usually addressed to the “prince” or king

Goddess and Queen

She is the undisputed monarch, the queen,
the reigning power above us all
human and animalkind, man and machine
we must bow before her, or we fall;
she doesn’t make her anger felt too often
but when she does, she doesn’t stop to soften
the sting of her tongue, or the way the blow
crumples her victim, her wrath may be slow
but hers is an iron fist, no gloves of silk or satin
lie in her drawers, row upon lavish row.
She is the queen, and she herself the queenpin.

She turns oceans blue, and apples green
scoops valleys deep, and heaves mountains tall,
makes beauty flourish in places unforeseen
shores curl in fear and forests sprawl;
she presses blooms into our hands and garden
hefts with ease whatever be the burden
and ensures we reap exactly what we sow
her lessons are long and haphazard, although
she doesn’t delay the test, once they have sunk in;
she knows how much we do or do not know.
She is the queen, and she herself the queenpin.

She is there in every gleam of river, every sheen
of seawave in black nights, in every small
mote of dust, in crushed leaves, in between
the orbits of clouds and their central fireball.
She’s there in every animal scream, each uncertain
birdcall that jabs at dawn’s rising curtain;
she is the leap of the lion, she is the dying doe
the laugh of the jackal, the grace in the flamingo.
She is the only witness to each thing she has been,
she the actor and the audience in every show.
She is the queen, and she herself the queenpin.

From whom we’re drawn out, and to whom we go
for rest, Queen and Mother, once the sunset glow
fades from the sky, when the nights begin
and she choreographs each dream and each shadow.
She is the Queen and she herself the queenpin.

Posted for the A-Z Challenge.


  1. It's good to be the Queen!

    Amazing the work you've put into this challenge! I hope someone writes a poem - chant royal for you - The Queen of Poetry!

    1. More like queen of leftover food right now :D thanks for the support, Yolanda.

      And I have to admit that it didn't feel much like work ;) great fun really.

  2. Amazing! Tremendous work!!

  3. Beautifully written! I wish I was a queen .. well more or less :)

    Random Thoughts Naba

  4. Much praise for the queen! All hail!
    I can imagine why it was unpopular.

  5. Wonderful! Thank you for bringing your poetry into this challenge.

  6. Your poem is so vivid in its description. I've never been able to write poetry, but you do a wonderful job. Excellent post!

  7. Ahaa! A new form of poetry I got to know :) wonderful !!

  8. Awesome verses, you are winning my friend.


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