DISCLAIMER: This is a unauthorized
poem using characters that are (c) & TM by Marvel Comics.
No profit is being made. The poem and the afterword is (c)
Tilman Stieve (Menshevik@aol.com).
You can download this and copy it for your entertainment,
but don't sell it for profit, or Marvel will set their lawyers
on you. Please do not archive this on your website without
informing me first.
(This is Mystique's poem for Valerie Cooper, a companion piece
to Val's sonnet in "Something
Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Someone Blue"):
Years after you first walked into my life, my Val,
To me as wife to man and man to wife, my Val,
You are. I take my time to learn to live with you,
And sometimes I still aggravate your life, my Val,
Not that you are the easiest of partners, dear,
We both can often cause each other strife, my Val,
Although the joy we share is more important still
And hurting you soon cuts me like a knife, my Val.
I am so grateful for each day that you're with me
Though I have never loudly called you wife, my Val.
Irene you bore, our second child inside you grows,
And I'm so glad that we now share our life, my Val,
We face our foes, red tape and sub-committees, too,
Who try to make our jobs with trouble rife, my Val.
I'd not foreseen it but I know that this is truth:
You're Raven's love and you are Raven's life, my Val.
This was written for a challenge I issued on the Outside
the Lines mailing list: Write a poem in a classic form
(preferably one you have never done before) either about a
comicbook character of your choice or as if such a character
had written it. Which was sparked by the sonnet I had Val
write for Raven.
I had wondered how Raven might respond to that and originally
had intended to have her write another sonnet, but this time
in the Petrarchan, not Shakespearean format. But then I wondered
about other forms and came across the ghazal.
The ghazal is originally an Arabian form that also was frequently
used in other Islamic countries, especially Persia. During
the Romantic era, a few German poets started a bit of a fad
for it, but it never became fully accepted. I guess the repetetive
rhymes (aa ba ca da ...) -- which can be reinforced by always
repeating a word or phrase after the rhyming word -- left
it open to ridicule and parody. And that, I think, would be
the reason for Raven to choose this of all forms: It would
leave her the escape route of saying that she was not being
(entirely) serious, which would tie in with her tendency towards
irony and the difficulties she has experienced in the "Tales
of the Twilight Menshevik" when it comes to put her feelings
for Valerie into words.
Probably the best-known German writer of ghazals was Count
August von Platen (1796-1835), who on the purely technical
level was perhaps one of the best writers of poetry of his
time, but who somehow lacked the spark to become one of the
greats. Platen was rather controversial, which probably had
less to do with the fact that he was gay, than with his many
and often personal attacks on writers who did not conform
to his rarified ideals of purity in form and content. His
feud with Heine, whom he maligned for his Jewish origins and
who riposted by ridiculing Platen's homosexuality, is well
remembered by literary historians. As a matter of fact, the
second line of this poems is taken from one of Platen's ghazals,
Ich bin wie Leib dem Geist, wie Geist
dem Leibe dir;
Ich bin wie Weib dem Mann, wie Mann dem Weibe dir;
(I am as body to spirit, as spirit to body for you/I am as
wife (woman) to man, as man to wife (woman) for you), which
struck me as oddly appropriate to the strange family relationships
in the Cooper/Darkhölme household, but also as an interesting
metaphor for a (symbiotic?) relationship between equals.
Down-Home Charm / Fan-Fiction /
Fan Artwork / History Books /
Photo Album / Songbank /
Miscellania / Links /
Legalese: Rogue, the X-Men, and the distinctive likenesses thereof
are Trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used without permission. This is an
unofficial fansite, and is not sponsored, licensed or approved by