Wednesday, 8 April 2015
King Richard III (Part the Second)
Late last month, Richard's remains were reinterred at Leicester Cathedral in central England. However controversial or chequered Richard's history had been, the dignified ceremony befitted a king. The Poet Laureate of England, Carol Ann Duffy, wrote a beautiful, haunting poem for the event.
by Carol Ann Duffy
My bones, scripted in light, upon cold soil,
a human braille. My skull, scarred by a crown,
emptied of history. Describe my soul
as incense, votive, vanishing; your own
the same. Grant me the carving of my name.
These relics, bless. Imagine you re-tie
a broken string and on it thread a cross,
the symbol severed from me when I died.
The end of time -- an unknown, unfelt loss --
unless the Resurrection of the Dead . . .
or I once dreamed of this, your future breath
in prayer for me, lost long, forever found;
or sensed you from the backstage of my death
as kings glimpse shadows on a battleground.
The poem was read at the ceremony by Benedict Cumberbatch, himself a distant many-times-removed cousin of Richard's who will soon portray him in the BBC's Hollow Crown production of Shakespeare's Richard III (pictured above). And I can hardly wait -- it is my most favourite Shakespearean play!
Here is video of the poem being read:
So, King Richard, rest in peace while the battle continues on about your place in history. At least no one is driving over top of your grave and dripping oil on it anymore.