Battle Royal

Above warm earth where gilt sun glows,
a message writ in scrawl of wings,
jet black on silver as they rose:
a raven and a peregrine.
At war with plunges and with throes,
two handsome birds beloved by kings;
a storm of plumage in the sky
marks battle fought for mastery.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

Battle Royal

Image found on YouTube

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Form for All – Ottava Rima

Today Frank has introduced a form ladyleemanila used in a poem linked to our last Open Link Night: the ‘ottava rima, an old Italian form consisting of multiple stanzas, each of eight lines, using iambic meter and having the rhyme pattern abababcc.

Frank tells us that two famous poems were written in ottava rima: Lord Byron’s ‘Don Juan’ and William Butler Yeats’ ‘Sailing to Byzantium’, and he has shared  recordings of Tom O’Bedlam reciting some excerpts from the first canto of ‘Don Juan’ and the four stanzas of Yeats’ poem.

He says that, although one can go on and on indefinitely with ottava rima stanzas, for this challenge let’s limit the number of stanzas to one to four, on any topic we want.

36 thoughts on “Battle Royal

  1. These are two beautiful birds. I didn’t know they fought with each other although I am sure the kings who owned them fought. I liked the tetrameter meter and the sound of your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently ravens and peregrines have been known to clash. The interesting thing is that ravens have always been kept at the Tower of London and it’s said that if they ever fly away, the Tower and Britain will fall. From medieval times, peregrine falcons were used as hunting birds by kings and princes and remained popular among royalty until the reign of George III. The Stuarts were particularly fond of the sport and Henry VIII was perhaps the most important falcon advocate. By ancient tradition, the king of England is presented with a falcon at the time of his coronation by the Duke of Athol and Lord Derby, and the office of royal falconer, called Master of the Mews, still exists.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. On the way back from the Cromer Crab and Lobster (Crabster) Festival on Sunday, we saw what looked very much like a falcon. I must admit, I got so excited I was jumping up and down in my seat!


  2. Wow, love your inspiration–raven are bigger & have larger beaks for battle, but hawks have sharper talons & more flying maneuverability. I loved your poem–it is so vivid, yet bang on for the form.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. a storm of plumage in the sky
    marks battle fought for mastery.

    It vividly tells a tale common these days. There always will be a battle of the turfs even in the sky. Each trying to get what others are also vying for! Great observation Kim!


    Liked by 1 person

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