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.
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.
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.
- Experience of Time and Place - January 19, 2022
- Night and Day; At Dead of Night - January 13, 2022
- North of the Arctic Circle; ‘Boadicea’ and ‘The Northern Lights’ - January 11, 2022