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Et in Arcadia ego

Suzette Richards Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Et in Arcadia ego which was written by poet Suzette Richards. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Et in Arcadia ego

Et in Arcadia ego                                               Even in Arcadia there am I [1]

'Wepyng and waylyng,                                      'Weeping and wailing,
     care and oother sorwe                                       care and other sorrow
I knowe ynogh, on even                                    I know enough, in the evening  
     and a-morwe,'	                                                 and the morning.'                                                                                            
Quod the Marchant, 'and so doon 	                  said the Merchant, 'and so does 
     oother mo                                                            many another
That wedded been.'					          who has been married.'[2]

Une femme parfaite[3]

      A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
          To warn, to comfort, and command;
      And yet a Spirit still, and bright
          With something of angelic light.[4]

From obscure origin appears,
a tranquillity not surpassed,
with only virtue in arrears.
Instructed and morals to last – 
admiration is thus fanned.
A perfect Woman, nobly planned.

Her arms are strong and she is fit,
her stamina unlimited,
not only work, but hearts to lift.
At her hearth you will be admitted,
welcome to man of blue blood strand – 
To warn, to comfort, and command.

Her tears she may hide from the world,
cruel in its assessment of her,
leaving her golden heart in the cold.
Her true value measured in myrrh.
Her ready smile to set things right
and yet a Spirit still, and bright.

Love, only arrow in her bow
to teach us the lessons of life
and that we shall reap what we sow.
Testimony to the perfect wife.
She inspires all to a new height
with something of angelic light.


[1] An example of memento mori , a cautionary reminder of the transitory nature of life and the inevitability of death.
 "Bliss for medieval man was a heavenly not a worldly condition. When medieval poetry or painting looked at rural life, it was for something charming and simple, not a dream of perfection. Medieval man had to die to be happy." ~ Arcadia, by Adam Nicolson

[2] The Merchant's Prologue, by Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer was a Medieval poet and his Canterbury Tales [written chiefly in verse (from which this verse came - expressing man's view of women/wives in general)] was the first recorded document written in English still remaining - at that time the literate wrote chiefly in Latin. 

Languages used in medieval documents:

Three different languages were in use in England in the later medieval period – Middle English, Anglo-Norman (or French) and Latin. Authors made choices about which one to use, and often used more than one language in the same document. Eventually English emerged as the standard literary medium, but it was not until the eighteenth century that Latin disappeared from legal documents.

[3] A perfect woman

[4] Perfect Woman, by: William Wordsworth (1770-1850):- This is a record of the general view of a perfect woman/wife which existed at that time in history. Equality of the sexes did not exist: "To warn, to comfort, and command."


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  1. Date: 7/19/2013 6:39:00 PM
    yikes, I have to look at this contest, I am not sure this hangs together as a verse Su? Must be a very difficult task! Thanks so much for stopping by my verses. Light & Love

    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards
    Date: 7/19/2013 8:14:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    You are right, Debbie. I changed it to "Rhyme" as PS do not have Glosa or Cento listed as poetry forms. BTW The poetry in Medieval times were a fair mix of rhyme and prose. Those who could read and write, did so in Latin. English was not yet an established language and Chaucer brought the local dialects together in the collective work. The Canterbury Tales were written in rhyme and prose (hence me quoting the actual verse, as the translation does not strictly rhyme).
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards
    Date: 7/19/2013 8:14:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Glosa uses a verse or extract from another poem on which it builds - as I did... Love, Su
  1. Date: 7/19/2013 10:41:00 AM
    Kind of outdone yourself here, Suzette. Damn! =) Charming word flow!