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Below is the poem entitled Gormenghast which was written by poet Keith Bickerstaffe. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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...a tribute to British novelist and illustrator
Mervyn Peake, and his trilogy, 'Gormenghast' 

Behold his birth, a brand new Earl, 
the Guardian of the Halls of Groan! 
yet 'til he reach the age of seven 
his father Sepulchrave will own 
the ritual and the royal robes 
of office o'er this shadowed realm, 
'til Titus, as is writ in stone, 
shall supersede him at the helm. 

Yet all the while another boy 
has set his sights on majesty, 
Steerpike, lowly kitchen hand, who's 
bound to foil this sovereignty. 
A narrow-shouldered, evil lad 
with schemes to murder and to burn, 
to render chaos, anarchy 
and withal the throne to earn. 

The Library engulfed in flames, 
Lord Sepulchrave's most favour'd spot, 
his sisters Cora, Clarice too, 
locked in their rooms and left to rot. 
Barquentine, who minds the Books 
'til Titus is to come of age, 
succumbs to death at Steerpike's hand, 
fated to drown, the trusty sage. 

The faithful old retainer, Flay 
is banish'd by the this lad's design, 
and Swelter, Master Chef, is slain 
no more to cook, no more to dine. 
The Lady Fuschia, Titus' kin, 
is fooled by Steerpike's boyish charm, 
confused, beguil'd by lover's eyes, 
she cannot keep herself from harm. 

It falls to Titus to engage 
this devil with a devil's rage. 
In mortal combat he doth strive 
'til he's the one who's left alive. 
Though Master of the Sacred Halls, 
he's overcome with grief and woe; 
alone and with a saddened heart 
he quits his home, it's time to go.

Copyright © Keith Bickerstaffe

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  1. Date: 4/27/2013 3:52:00 PM
    Lively imagination and stirring rhythm...what a delight to come upon your work...obviously you have a passion for story telling as well as poetry!

  1. Date: 4/10/2013 5:40:00 PM
    oh, how i've missed your poetry! your rhythm and rhyme are absolutely perfect and in this one, i was delightedly carried away by the story (with which i am not familiar). come back! give us more!

  1. Date: 4/10/2013 11:31:00 AM
    Excellent Keith xx