Northwords Now Issue 40

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Marguerite D'Écosse

by Hugh McMillan

Margaret Stewart
wrote poetry every evening.
She was loved for it by a few
but to most of the courtiers
she was the butt of jokes:

they laughed at her clothes,
her diet, her manners,
but most of all her desire
to write: as if a teenager
from the savage north could

have noble fancies and
the skill and wit to pen them.
Her husband hated her,
married her for her dowry
of Scottish troops,

tore her verses up when she
died. He was a successful King:
in other words a brutal thug
with libraries of books
written about him,

but she is remembered
in the vague and beautiful
ways that matter to some,
in scraps and stories
that might be dreams.

They say the master writer
Alain Chartier,
France’s finest, had a vision
where she graced him
with a poet’s kiss.