Came the Great Popinjay

Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell 1887 (Scarborough) – 1964 (Weedon Lois)

CAME the great Popinjay
Smelling his nosegay:
In cages like grots
The birds sang gavottes.
'Herodiade's flea
Was named sweet Amanda,
She danced like a lady
From here to Uganda.
Oh, what a dance was there!
Long-haired, the candle
Salome-like tossed her hair
To a dance tune by Handel.' . . .
Dance they still? Then came
Courtier Death,
Blew out the candle flame
With civet breath.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell

Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell was a British poet and critic and the eldest of the three literary Sitwells. She reacted badly to her eccentric, unloving parents and lived much of her life with her governess. She never married but became passionately attached to Russian painter Pavel Tchelitchew, and her home was always open to London's poetic circle, to whom she was generous and helpful. Sitwell published poetry continuously from 1913, some of it abstract and set to music. With her dramatic style and exotic costumes, she was sometimes labelled a poseur, but her work was praised for its solid technique and painstaking craftsmanship. She was a recipient of the Benson Medal. more…

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    "Came the Great Popinjay" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 26 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/7411/came-the-great-popinjay>.

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