Poem: Self-promotive portrait of an Elizabethan cavalier

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Poem: Self-promotive portrait of an Elizabethan cavalier


Workshop on The Art of Writing
run by Prof. Jem Poster
Albert Hans - assignment # 3, originally scheduled for 3rd August, 2006


Subject-matter/Theme/Topic: Voicing the portrait of an Elizabethan cavalier[1]
by means of a free verse poem



It is this glance with a tinge of superiority emanating from wide open eyes that strikes me and claims my attention. Conversely, he himself, as befits a true blue nobleman, unmistakably radiates an air of unchallengeability. This ‘effigy’ of a man remains firm and stable, thus worth admiring.


I know I’m flying my flag
The way I look
Makes me feel good.


The surreptitious smile

Rising from my delicately whitish countenance

Is no sneer,

No condescendingly haughty glance

To catch the spectator’s attention with.


After all, it is pride,

Self-assurance in self-containment

And – above all – determination in modest display

‘Un gentil homme’ my style needs today

In the age of win or lose

With no alternative but to choose.


It is like everybody knows

Clothes that make, not just shape people.

It is dress through which to express ‘noblesse’.

I’m well aware the contours of my face

Chime in to a ‘T’

With what convention expects of me.


Survive or besiege,

‘Noblesse oblige’!


[1] Again for copyright reasons I prefer not to publish the scanned photo of the cavalier
      to whom this poem refers.
      The quality of the black + white copy we got in class together with a collection of
      other pictures on one sheet of paper was rather poor anyway.
      Nevertheless I hope it's not hard for you to imagine what the cavalier described
      in the poem looks like in the photo.