Poems Writ for Lublu: A Tragedie in Fifty-one Sonnets by David G. Rose, ISBN 978-0-9544518-1-3 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-9927057-4-9 (e-book)
This sequence of sonnets was written for the author's dear friend, Margaret, over two-and-a-half-years. Margaret (the rag doll Lublu or the Lady, in the book) spent part of her early life on the stage as an actress and singer. She was a sociable person, a renowned beauty and long-time supporter of the local drama and music societies. When the author met her, he was impressed with her well-read copy of Shakespeare's Complete Works. On discovering it was the sonnets she dipped into he vowed he would write one more to her than Shakespeare did to his loves. His target was 155.
Margaret was to succumb to secondary cancer. The difficulties and occasional despair are reflected in the sonnets. The author has annotated many of them to make them more personal and go some way to explaining the rationale behind the individual sonnets. There are 51 illustrations in the book accompanying the poems.
There are two themes in the sequence, all of which (except Sonnet I) are in the Elizabethan form (rhyming abab cdcd efef gg). The first theme is the declaration of love that you would expect of a poet. The second theme is constructed around Margaret's childhood toys. In these she is Lublu and her suitor is the musician Pierrot. We have Dog, Toy Soldier, Golly, Hare, the Teddies, China Doll and so on. These are joined by the King's Court Fairy Band and Elves to complete the nursery theme. In these sonnets the author was able to express himself in a lighter, more direct manner.
The sequence remains unfinished. By the time of Margaret's death (the Tragedie) in 2003 the author had written 51 sonnets. She had the slip case and presentation cards at her bedside. They gave her great joy, she said several times. The author says he could not have achieved them without her endless encouragement.
Click here for a different aspect of the book on the author's site.
Book size 140 mm x 216 mm (5.5" x 8.5"), 72 pages, mono interior, published October 2014. There are 52 illustrations including a picture of Margaret on the Dedication page. Cover illustration "Lublu's Song." You can hear the song Lublu is looking at on the author's site under Composition here.
"These are really beautiful poems. I have to admit to shedding a tear on reading the last page." Sheila Osborn, Chatham, Kent "We have dipped into the sonnets - they are beautiful! We will continue reading during our next visit." Helen Hall, Exeter, Devon "Many thanks for sending me a copy of your sonnets dedicated to Margaret - beautiful and sad at the same time." Chris Miles, Whitstable, Kent
Read the first five sonnets and notes here:
Sonnet I Joy Lane, 24 April
‘Tis plain clear there’s no such word as never when I dost vow to dote on thee for ever. But though I muse the Master’s imitation, certain do I know my limitation! I thank thee for a fulsome, homely fête, Playful Maiden well and truly met, to whom is penned this humble rhyming part from one full gone to win his Lady’s heart. To dine the morrow I now long with hunger, most to feast my eyes on you, my Dreamer. Tortillas wait, I say! We are come soon to dip into a lusty Spanish spoon. ‘Tis obvious late, this sonnet’s bound to slip! I bid thee well tonight from heart and lip.
Notes. This first offering was my thanks for Easter weekend at the Lady’s house and an invitation to a flamenco evening at a local restaurant. This was my first sonnet and far more satisfying to compose than the notes I had dropped into her post box since the Autumn. We were still having dinner together regularly at her house, King’s Court and alternating cooking it.
”Yes, yes!” she exclaimed, in wonder I like to think, on reading the poem.
“Er, no,” I countered. It failed as a sonnet and prompted me to look more carefully at its structure over the next few days.
Sonnet II Stockholm, 30 April
So hard, the tender touch of our embrace, to feel each other’s gently beating hearts then prised away, you always full of grace while I did want to reach those deeper parts. So cruel then, your whispered promised tryst, your fleeting fingers sealing lips untold except I must come back and you insist we will be one and I, you will behold. So chilling now, your eyes of molten green warming Arctic waters dark and deep that twilit April eve where swans do preen and salmon pink ‘cross royal blue do leap. Now within your private gaze, to bare my soul to you in trust I am to dare.
Notes. The Lady accompanied me shopping before my trip to Sweden. It was the first time we had done anything together out of the house on our own except for walking the dogs along the sea front. I was staying at weekends in the guest room at King’s Court partly to help the Lady with her almost weekly dinners for friends. As I left the house on Saturday morning she handed me a card for reading on the flight.
“You might look at tall, blonde Scandinavian beauties but please don’t bring one home ...” she wrote.
I was taken by surprise. She was one step ahead of me. This card and my cards containing Sonnets 1. and 2. were the turning point in our relationship.
Sonnet III Argyle Road, 3 May
Now my Love resides within my head softly humming tunes and chasing themes. ‘Tis joyful that this Lady is well-read like the finest wines and sweetest dreams such, nightly in my mind I’m wooed and dined, her presence clear the spur of hand and heart. With laughter, love and music intertwined, smiles, these words and she are now my art. Tonight abroad, though home’s in warmer ports, ‘tis Delight that guards my whetted palette. Her Mistress will return to fire my thoughts and once again I’ll sip a mellowed claret. Who needs Gallic charm with ripest cheese? Just come home to us, my Love, please.
Notes 3 & 4. While I was in Sweden the Lady was in Paris with her friend Sara. I didn’t know she was to be introduced to a recently widowed doctor. I house-sat King’s Court on my return.
My dinner for the Lady, with a sauce I created for her was badly timed because she had a huge parting lunch in Paris. She was touched at my efforts looking after the dogs, composing a sonnet and a song “Springtime is for You and Me” set in the Paris she loved. The ‘blind date’ she remarked, was a non-event.
I finished Sonnet 4. the day after her return while waiting in the theatre foyer for a Music Society concert to end. I wanted to walk her back across town at dusk.
Sonnet IV King’s Court, 4 May
Flitting siskin, finch and thrush yet grown ‘cross mellowed brick touched ochre, dun and green, I looked, my Love, as they but you had flown. ‘Twas I, tout seul, who felt their warming sheen. As these gentle friends did grace this garden, I in contemplation watched them free and played a little tune and begged their pardon though this moody food sustained us three. We did wait, us lads and pine somewhat, Bertie Boy, d’Arcy Dog and I. This tranquil corner was our restless lot while patiently we waited you to spy. Missing not is bird or bee or dove, it is you. Welcome home, my Love.
Sonnet V Joy Lane, 9 May
A bee or not? Perhaps two bees? No need to question nature’s spoil when sun and scented May are one at ease, for you, my honeyed dream, the perfect foil. Three ewes or four? Just you I need, not sheep. Alone at night I count those wispy smiles and only when they’ve kissed my eyes I sleep content your tenderness my body fills. Such joy abounds in slumber’s dance and play from softest lips and lambs and humming bees. But those days abroad you were away, the nights, the stars, became the nursery frieze and I did wish, as you did pray at Chartres, for the blessing of our Lord and Master.
Notes. This also relates to the ‘competition.’ I was trying very hard and lamented, perversely I suppose, being unable to express myself as well as Shakespeare.
“It will take time,” the Lady said kindly, insisting my efforts so far were well worth it.
She had a strong faith. I don’t but making reference to it in poetry is perfectly acceptable, surely?