Dear Anne

There used to be a scaffold here.
Where blood has spilled the grass is greener.

Beheading was at dawn, a sword for noblemen
and axe for all the rest.
An ax is dull, a sword is sharp …

Only Anne was privileged enough
to be treated as a man.

They say she never cried, but bled she did.
Her greatest sin: she never had a son.
Her greatest legacy: Elizabeth.

The ravens know,
how close it was for England to succumb,
if daughters can’t be kings.

Dear Anne,
you died in honor of the king,
but afterwards your daughter honored you.

© Roger Bulltot

I know it’s not the Tower of London, but still the green lawn and the old walls reminded me of a tour we made. I don’t really know if I wrote a narrative poem or a story, but sometimes you just have to tell the story of Anne Boleyn in the simplest possible ways. The irony that her daughter became one of the greatest rulers of England should be remembered more than that of king Henry.

Friday Fictioneers is a community of bloggers who write stories to the same picture in 100 words every week. There is lot of talent here, and Rochelle keeps us on the edge of improving our writing skills every week.

August 30, 2017

79 responses to “Dear Anne

  1. Nicely said, Bjorn. The irony that Anne was (probably falsely) accused of adultery just to get rid of her and as you say, her daughter … More formidable, and a greater monarch than her dad. I often wonder how she viewed Henry in light of the fact he had her mum executed. Great work.

      • Yes, true. Anne did give birth to a stillborn son I believe – what would have been her fate had he lived I wonder? Would Henry still have grown tired of her eventually? He was fickle as he grew older. Also though, Anne as queen got a bit above herself, was less the alluring temptress of their courtship, more the bossy wife. And Jane was quiet and meek … and younger

  2. That was beautifully done and I knew exactly who you were talking about almost from the beginning.

  3. Haunting tale, and such a good point, that Anne’s “not son” would go on to do such great things. I especially liked the line about “the ravens know”.

  4. Did you visit Hever Castle when you visited the UK? We took our grandchildren there last month – it’s where Anne grew up.

  5. I don’t care what it is (in terms of labels); I love it. Such intriguing figures, both Anne and Elizabeth. You have told the story well, picking out the salient points so that the poem is, paradoxically, both spare and rich.

  6. I’ve noticed that poetic story telling can be tricky, in terms of not veering into flat out prose. Whether a narrative poem or story, this is well constructed and holds the content wonderfully well.

  7. Dear Björn,

    Must I remind you that it’s all about what you see in the prompt? No need to explain yourself. 😉 Beautiful poem. Simple and full of history. Love it.



  8. A brilliant piece of poetry, and I’m so glad to see someone sticking up for the much maligned Anne. Henry VIII really was the sort of man whose line of sight a noblewoman needed to avoid if she wanted to survive!

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