Preserved

To a man of nobility, of wealth and fame
The beauty from a far off kingdom, came

With charm and grace, her lord enchanted
The seeds of love’s compulsion planted

He sought to win her favor day and night
She refused his advances, try as he might

Bestowed upon her diamonds, rubies, pearls
But nothing moved the heart of the obstinate girl

But her resistance only stoked his fires
Finally unable to restrain his desires

He devised and schemed to spirit her away
Prepared a hidden tower for her to stay

But his passion was fierce and he lost control
In his fevered frenzy, her life he stole

Despair and grief, keening ragged breath
He determined to possess her e’en in death

So her blood he drained, replaced with wax
Laid on furs, draped in silk, sealed ‘neath glass

And thus he conferred upon her immortality
That he might preserve her for all eternity

This poem was inspired by this illustration by Harry Clarke for ‘Morella’ by Edgar Allen Poe in Tales of Mystery and Imagination. And partially by the short story Miss Henrietta Stralson by the infamous Marquis de Sade. 

66 thoughts on “Preserved

    1. There is so much detail in these illustrations. They are very stimulating. As for de Sade, I enjoyed the Essay on novels that introduces the collection — his advice and thinking are pretty timeless. Henrietta and Granwel were quite the well matched pair of adversaries. There were times I laughed aloud at her guile and his deception.

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      1. De Sade does have moments of humour, though it tends to the blackest. In the earliest and best version of Justine, the Misfortune of Virtue, he stretches the heroine naivety to beyond breaking point, after being used and abused by everyone she meets, she stills trustingly believes every word of every blackguard she meets. I think the point is that De Sade, along with Voltaire is parodied the enlightenment tendency to believe this is the best of all possible worlds when all evidence screams that the contrary is true.

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      2. I’m not even sure he meant for it to be funny but their continually falling for the other’s lies began to become farcical. Alive at a critical point in history, certainly the shortcomings of the enlightenment were ‘illuminated’ by the conditions that led to the revolution

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      3. In my opinion de Sade is a baroque writer, that is a writer of excess. Everything is excessive. Corruption, innocence, cruelty, naivety. I do think he had a sense of humour, but it is cruel humour and darkly ironic. The best tales in the book are Eugenie and Franvel and Florville and Courval

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      4. Yes and yes. The next one is Faxelange. I liked the ‘omniscient narrator’ point of view in Miss Stralson. His running commentary on the events added a unusual perspective. It’s a pleasant surprise.

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      1. You should! I think that humanity has plenty of darkness to explore. And not that I’m glorifying it by any means but it does intrigue… What makers a mind go there, do that…? You know what I mean?

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      1. Hahahaha! It was funny. I do that occasionally…type something out and then I notice how it COULD have been taken. Luckily (or maybe it’s a lack of luck…lol), it usually doesn’t get misconstrued. πŸ˜‰

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      2. I’m at peace for the moment. It’s a weird place to be and I haven’t experienced it for many years. I’m just hoping it lasts.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. One step at a time, my dear. I am quickly realizing I am only one person and it’s not my responsibility to handle everything in life…somethings I can just let go. And I’m working on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m trying not to let my dark side take over… It’s been on top, so to speak, for quite a while now. So I’m trying to write more funny, happy, positive stuff. (Not easy for me sometimes… πŸ™‚ and I hate when it sounds forced! And God knows I don’t want to sound like a clichΓ©!!)

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    1. Thank you so much. I’ve been exploring darker themes lately, though I’m generally a positive person. I guess that’s what makes the disturbing things more compelling! Appreciate your feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

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