ODOP: Joanna, Slip Given

Joanna the Mad, dressed in kirtles red,
Traipsed from the Escorial half-bare.
She laughed at her feet growing red in the snow,
And gave never a thought for St. Claire.

Copyright 2010 Jobey George


Joanna’s story is actually pretty sad. This comes as a bummer to me, who fell in love with the girl (whose imagination couldn’t be fired by that name?) by a chance mention in a high school history text. I don’t think it’s as I first wrote it — “kirtles” was originally something different — but I’ve been scribbling this first line for years, never able to add anything to it. For “inspiration” I looked her up. As it turns out, her life is remarkably depressing, and I feel a little bad about my poetic impulse to romanticize her “insanity.”

I mean, not bad enough to stop doing it…

Any thoughts about the ethics of making light of such historical misery? Does it help at all that it happened a long time ago? *fingercross* What do you know/find interesting about Joanna?



  1. Jingle said

    well done!

  2. Jingle said

    Welcome to Thursday Poets Rally Week 24, here is what you do to participate:

    First, please read the questions and respond:


    Then, Post an original poem in your own blog, and place your link in under the following post to participate:

    Now, visit and comment for a minimum 18 poets from week 24 participants list, after you are done, comment to let Jingle know, you are in perfect shape then…

    Awards are given by Jingle via notifications….

    Make sure that you: return favors to poets who have visited your blog
    Have visited 18 poets NEW to you.

    Thank You for the attention.
    Happy Tuesday!
    Happy Poetry Reading and writing!

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