To a peasant in the field, an artisan or even a Court Jester, it would appear as if Princess Anne had it all. After all, she never knew hunger, shivered in the cold or suffered with an infection that festered for months on end. And for that she was grateful, make that dimly grateful. Her mother, the Queen, finding her daughter staring out the window at the orderly fields of cultivated grapes, rattled off a list of obligations to fill her daughter’s empty time and then some, but poor Anne’s mind was elsewhere. Certain that she was the first to feel this feeling that had no name, Princess Anne searched for its expression. She studied the paintings at the court, listened hard to the music that accompanied the evening meal and watched the peasants dance round the bonfire at night but nothing came close to mirroring this heavy weight she carried inside her like a misshapen child. She tried her hand at poetry, song and finally dance, but the Queen reminded her that she was a ruler not a maker of things and as such her job would be to sit on the throne and rule her people wisely. Besides, the Queen added, poems should rhyme, songs are always about love and dancers must wear a corset. When she finally became Queen, Anne spent long hours in her room surrounded by pen, paper and deep silence. After her death, her daughter Ennui pried open the cluttered library of her writing. Recognizing the feeling, the mood conveyed in her mother’s work, she did what any self-respecting daughter would do and claimed it as her own.
July 15, 2014
by Lee Eiferman