Writer’s Room: “The Fantastic Love of the Truest Knight”

Jessica Vera

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For this poem, the first thing that came to mind was “what if’ Sir Gawain had a lover he had to be apart from while on his travels?”  So, I came about this idea of a love letter written by a knight. Knights are supposed to follow their code, even if it means they have to leave their truest love to honor a conquest. I also put into consideration that Sir Gawain might have had to leave as soon as dawn would break so that he could travel by horse to start his long journey. So, I started the letter with the sentiments of saying, “farewell, I will miss you, just in case I die on my conquest” knowing he might not be able to see her face before he had to leave.

My Dearest Love,

How I hope this letter reaches you in time for my departure.

If not,

I pray that you get this letter before the dawn breaks light;

I have already left on my travels.

I write this letter to you,

for I am not sure if I shall see the beauty of your face again.

If I am blessed with such a pleasure,

I do not know how many moons will pass

before I am able to worship the tenderness of your touch once again.

By God, I need you to know the affections of my truest heart.

May love ever protect this heart God has given you.

His to command,

yet,

on the other hand,

may mercy beg you to remember me.

Before I go too far away

from all your present thought,

the notion I will return to you

once more already comforts me.

In God I pray,

not for long shall I remain away.

Judging by what I see to come,

from what I have seen that night,

the ax struck such a neck and made no foul.

My mind turns right back to wonder on your face,

therefore,

in both my journey and my stay,

O gentle lover, please…

remember me.

For when armored knights heed nature’s call,

our code obliges us to trek for all.

I know my friend,

my lover,

you are an old soul

who believes in chivalry, romance, and above all…

 

Love.

Spirits of the wind send it all,

my love, my soul, my valor

to protect your honor.

For I,

have a rendezvous with death.

Winter has come back with rustling shades,

the smell of wilting blossoms fills the air.

Fate shall take my hand

and lead me into this dark land,

where I will close my eyes and quench my breath –

or fate may allow me to just pass this warrior still…

 

On some scarred slope of battered hill,

now that Spring has come

and went ‘round again this year.

God knows ‘twere better

to be deep pillowed in silk and scented down,

where love throbs out in blissful sleep,

pulse nigh to pulse,

and breath to breath,

where hushed awakenings are dear…

 

I’d rather be,

but at midnight and to my pledged word,

I am true.

Let me never lose the marvel of your statue-like eyes,

or the accent of the solitary rose

your breath places on my cheek at night.

Truth’s secret I share with only you,

that I fear of being so far across from this shore

and past endless branchless trunks from you.

And my most severe of regrets is

having not flower nor clay

to recreate your image and try to warm my despair.

If you are my hidden treasure,

if you are my cross,

my dampened pain,

you alone my devotion,

I pray,

I never lose what I have gained

of this estranged Autumn.

I have a rendezvous with death,

and for my only one,

I shall promise to my fullest

to return to my truest love.

Forever Yours,

Sir Gawain