North of the Arctic Circle; ‘Boadicea’ and ‘The Northern Lights’

Boudicca, the Figurehead, on the prow, of the Fred Olsen ship

A few years ago, a good friend and I went on a Fred Olsen cruise to Norway, in search of the northern lights; the Aurora Borealis, a unique and out-of-this-world natural phenomenon which has to be experienced to understand the full emotional effect of natural, impulsive, dancing lights.

Our ship was the ‘Boudicca’, named after a tribal queen of East Anglia in Roman times, a woman who led with courage and fire, a force to be reckoned with. Since my primary school days, she has inspired me.

So, with Boudicca and the Northern Lights as inspiration, I penned the following.

Boadicea

Queen warrior, fierce and brave,
she fought the Romans’ oppressive wave
of treatment cruel, and theft of land,
all in the name of invasion’s hand.

She ruled the tough Iceni tribe,
in East Anglia, husband alongside.
A striking looking woman – tall,
fierce, a voice full of pride.

A redhead, with character to match,
not to be ignored without a scratch,
no-one would want to argue the toss
with one so determined, some catch!

Romans killed her husband loyal,
plundered house and flogged her sore,
while daughters were violated, with others,
Iceni and neighbours rebelled all the more.

In chariots, inciting revolt before battle,
‘descended from mighty men, she fought
for the ordinary person, lost freedom, her bruises;
the men could be slaves’, if they ought.

Though first succeeding, they slowly failed,
outnumbered and out-armed.
With brutish slaughter, the Romans won,
Boadicea’s tribes badly harmed.

Many were killed though she survived,
but wanting no enslavement by Romans,
she took a poison to avoid being taken,
died by her own hand, a heroine.

A well-earned place in British folk history,
the Warrior Queen made her mark.
A statue in bronze, aloft, riding her chariot
on the embankment, is parked –

in London, the old Roman capital!

Well, we go on about girl power, don’t we? That takes the biscuit!

Importance of a Name

Boadicea (pronounced ‘bo-diss-eer’) was the queen of the Iceni, a tribe in East Anglia, the eastern-most area of England. When I was at primary school, she was referred to by that name; only latterly has she been called by the Roman version of Boudicca. I’m sticking with the original as that was her true name.

Our ‘Boudicca’ sailed from Southampton across the North Sea, notorious for its rough waters. Imagine our surprise when we experienced mirror-calm waters all the way to Norway. We had several stops as we navigated up the east coast, passing the Arctic Circle and anticipating seeing the lights from the port of TromsØ. What a treat we had in store!

The Northern Lights

Up and up towards the sight
we’d all been waiting for;
the stunning, awesome Northern Lights,
no-one could ask for more.

No photo prepares for this delight,
no word the emotion describes.
Nature’s wonder in all its might,
in silence, we probed the skies,

then grey mist ‘gainst black sky appeared,
shape-shifted into green,
became a waterfall, a finger, crown..
shapes like you’ve never seen,

swirling, dancing, captivating
all those who were there.
All we could do was drink it in,
mesmerised, and stare.

Back down to earth, at dead of night
from TromsØ, ship sets sail.
For us, vibrant coloured dreams,
mystery from deep heavens, prevail.

Sources:

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Boudica/

~

For more works like Boudicca and Northern Lights by this author see Ann Carr on The Creative Exiles

You can also read more works by Ann Carr on Hubpages.

 

Ann Carr
Latest posts by Ann Carr (see all)
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Ann Carr

I love writing; short stories, poems, fiction and non-fiction. My time in teaching dyslexics, primary, secondary and adults, life with grandchildren and a multitude of experiences, all have taught me to value family, nature and life in general. I'm a member of HubPages (hubpages.com/@annart) which has helped me hone my writing skills. I have published an anthology of stories and poems on the subject of 'words', entitled 'Take a Word!', designed to encourage writers to stretch their boundaries when choosing words. It's exciting to be a part of a community which has the same passion for writing.

7 thoughts on “North of the Arctic Circle; ‘Boadicea’ and ‘The Northern Lights’

  • January 13, 2022 at 10:35 PM
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    Boith poems were wonderful, Ann,. Bodicea must have been a very formidable woman. I would so love to see The Northern Lights at least once in my lifetime. I doubt it will happen, but I suppose the Southern Aurora is a possibility. Nice work.

    Reply
  • January 14, 2022 at 3:02 AM
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    Thanks, John! I’m glad you enjoyed my poems.
    Yes, I presume the Southern Aurora is just as spectacular – don’t miss the opportunity if you get it; the emotions will never leave you.

    Reply
  • January 14, 2022 at 5:05 PM
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    Very enjoyable to read poetry, Ann. I studied about Boadicea several years ago and wrote an article about her. As John says, she was a very formidable woman. Thanks for sharing your experience with the Northern Lights.

    Reply
    • January 15, 2022 at 1:59 AM
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      oops! That should have been… glad you enjoyed this.

      Reply
  • January 17, 2022 at 3:26 PM
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    So I was thinking how much I enjoy well-crafted form and how I appreciated TCE because it was a forum where I could find poets who are not afraid of good rhyme. These quatrains are filled with rhyme and rhythm and filled my heart with joy as I read. It is such a pleasure to read. Jamie

    Reply
  • January 18, 2022 at 2:52 AM
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    Thanks again, Jamie! I’m so pleased you found these enjoyable. It is hard sometimes to find rhymes that don’t sound stilted or contrived, so there were quite a few re-writes for this one!
    I appreciate your 3 visits today.
    Ann

    Reply

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