Holding Court

Image: Prinzessin Hyazinthe
Alphonse Mucha, 1911 

Royal duty weighs heavy
on a young princess, especially 
one longing to whirl through the night
caught in the arms of her prince.

As the stench of sycophants
assaults her wrinkling royal nose,
she thinks to herself that holding court
is like holding cold fish, long dead.
A waltz fills the head
beneath her royal crown,
and satin toes hidden under
silk and brocade tap the 3/4 beat.

Fighting the smile that hovers
just behind her royal disdain,
she turns up the music
and dances away.


I'm joining in at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, where the challenge is to an ekphrastic poem  (a decidedly unpoetic term) in response to a painting by the Czech art nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939).


  1. I love how you captured that 'half smile, that all-knowing little smirk' ... in beautiful poetic form.

  2. Brilliant take on the picture! You captured her perfectly.

  3. What a cool tale you have told here, Patti. I love it.

  4. ha i am all for rebellion...even if it is against your own status or stature...

    holding court
    is like holding cold fish, long dead

    aint that the truth...better to dance..and let the tabloids have a field day...who cares...smiles.

  5. This picture also caught my eye - there is definitely a story behind it, and you told it so very well.

  6. I bet it is difficult for royals to always be....royal too, especially if they do want to forget about it and dance and be happy!
    Nice capture of the painting :)

  7. So good! I wonder this too, do those so 'royal' ever want to roll around like us common folk? Could they shed the 'royal' even if they wanted too? Love the rebellion! Perfection!

  8. I like that she gave in to the music and dance away ~

  9. You have captured the painting so well..there does seem to be an elegant boredom in her expression. I too love the music and how she dances away.

  10. I love the part about holding court!

    Thanks for this marvelous contribution to the Mucha madness!

  11. You capture the image you chose perfectly! Great write!

  12. This is so well done. I had to google ekphrastic is isn't in my 21 century dictionary.

  13. Dancing can cure many ills, especially those inflicted by sycophants. This is wonderful, Patti!


Thoughts? I would love to hear from you.