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Sport 8: Autumn 1992

♣ Elizabeth Smither — The Tudor Style

page 81

Elizabeth Smither

The Tudor Style

Catherine Howard practising
Graceful poses for the block
Ordering the block to her cell
Like trying on a hat.

Violence and style together
Violence in style the creed
That took them from bowls or tennis
To be served up like meat.

Would Henry get to hear of
The way Catherine Howard walked
How she disposed her neck, her skirts?
Unlikely: he was violently out

Late partying, to correspond
With equal violence of forgetfulness
Returning late down the river
After a day violently preoccupied

While all over the kingdom
Games until the summons
Were absorbingly violent, calmly
Violent, graciously violently going on.