"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hell With Flaming Hair

When Izy at Real Toads challenged us to write about our favorite female icon I didn't know which direction to go, but I decided upon the warrior queen Boadicea. She was a mother beaten by Roman soldiers who then in turn was forced to witness the brutal rape of her two daughters. With a lioness's heart she led the Iceni into battle against the Romans who had pillaged her kingdom and children.

Boadicea Haranguing the Britons by John Opie

Hell came with flaming hair
to demand its pound of Roman Flesh.

Boadicea raised her sword
from the tears of her daughters
whose bodies lay pillaged by soldiers’ rape.

Boots pounding avengement’s
cadence into the soil,
she led the Iceni into battle.

Camulodeunm and Londinium felt
the wrath of the warrior queen
in rivers of blood and burning torch.

History questions the site
of her final battle, but does
not question a mother’s heart.

Boadicea was a mother turned warrior
when the Romans made her children
their human spoils of war.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Written for Real Toads Out of Standard with Izy


my heart's love songs said...

loved your poem and i have actually used that music video in one of my posts because i loved it without any idea of the history attached to it.

Hell hath no fury like a mother's!

aprille said...

Good for you, Suzie!
She most definitely was a hero [heroine sounds to soft for her].
One of these people you don't believe could possibly have existed, but there are enough accounts that prove she did do all that is written about her.
Such a good celebration of her in your poem.

Susan said...

"History questions the site
of her final battle, but does
not question a mother’s heart."

Which you show in all its beautiful fierceness:

"Boadicea raised her sword from the tears of her daughters"

Daydreamertoo said...

She was one bad ass woman wasn't she. Queen Victoria was so impressed by her story she had her put onto the UK pennies and a statue with her and her daughters in a chariot was made and placed in a prominent spot in the heart of London.
This is a lovely tribute to a woman who was a lioness of a mother and who wouldn't be bowed by the might of Rome. :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

It is sad that many female warriors' stories are lost in time. Boadicea left a legacy that any mother, or oppressed nation could look up to.

Fireblossom said...

Oh wow. I had two other ideas for mine that i didn't use...Belle Boyd and Queen Boudica. I'm glad that you wrote about her! She took on the Romans and kicked their asses. When I was in London, I got to see her statue. (They also had one of Abraham Lincoln, which surprised me.)

Helen said...

This is so strong, inspiring. I hadn't known of Boadicea before reading your poem. I really enjoyed the Enya video -- especially the image of her standing high on the cliff .. arms outstretched expressing her outrage, her power. Perfect accompaniment to your poetry.

hedgewitch said...

I love the title, and that you chose this warrior woman as subject Susie. It's sad to me that so few women have been able to avenge the crimes you talk about with the punishment they deserve, and the cleansing it brings.

Kay L. Davies said...

This is wonderful, Susie. Watching her daughters being raped didn't break her spirit, it brought out her rage, which turned to vengeance. Good for her, and good for you, responding to the prompt with such a heroic woman!

Isadora Gruye said...

Wow, Susie...you have pored such an emotion into this work and brought to the surface a little known rebel. Thanks so much for posting this to my prompt!

Margaret said...

You really delivered here. I agree, never question a mother's heart. Love Daydreamertoo's comment! (I'm so ashamed of my awful attempt to this prompt) ... I need to redo it - this just puts it too shame.

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